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WAR 1 8 1S55 

Copyright, 1919, 
By George H, Doran Company 

Printed in the United States of America 





On one occasion, after having had to swallow an excep- 
tionally lar^e dose of complimentary eloquence, I stated that 
I was going to borrow a title for my book from my favorite 
philosopher, Mr. Dooley, and call it "Alone in Europe.'* 

The title that has been given it sounds almost as egoistic 
as that ; but there will be found in these pages other names 
than my own. Indeed, objection may be made from a literary 
point of view that the book bristles with names. I could not 
write my story otherwise. I knew these men, and what 
they did, and my only regret is that I have undoubtedly 
overlooked some, especially amongst replacements, whose 
names and deeds should be mentioned. Battles are not 
fought by commanding officers alone, not even by chaplains 
unaided ; and the men who do the fighting usually get little 
personal credit for their valor. 

My chronicle claims no merit save that of being true. 
The only critics I had in mind while writing it were those 
who fought in France. If they say that the pictures are 
true, I am content. The diary style has been deliberately 
chosen because it permits the introduction of incidents, and 
also lends itself to the telling of a plain unvarnished tale. 

Every Regiment in a combat division has a similar story, 
if any one of its members has the knowledge and patience 
to tell it. "The Irish 69th" had naturally its own special 
flavor of race with the buoyant spirits, the military elan, 
and the religious ardor that mark the race. No picture; of 
the regiment would be complete that did not give a generous 
place to this phase of its life. 

Happily, the Irish spirit has always managed to combine 
generous tolerance with its fervors. As a result, there are 
no more enthusiastic adherents of the Irish 69th than those 



of Its members who did not share in the blood or the creed 
of the majority. 

As for myself, I liked them all. I am a very Irish, very 
Catholic, very American person if anybody challenges my 
convictions. But normally, and let alone, I am just plain 
human. My appreciation of patriotism, or courage, or any 
other attractive human trait, is not limited in any degree by 
racial or religious or sectional prejudice. That was the 
spirit of our Army; may it always be the spirit of our Re- 

Joyce Kilmer was to have written this book. I took over 
the task after his death in battle. The manuscript he left 
had been hurriedly written, at intervals in a busy soldier 
existence, which interested him far more than literary work. 
I have taken the liberty of adding his work, incomplete 
though it is, to my own ; because I feel that Kilmer would 
be glad at having his name associated with the story of the 
Regiment which had his absolute devotion; and because I 
cannot resist the temptation of associating with my own 
the name of one of the noblest specimens of humanity that 
has existed in our times. 

I wish to thank Major Meaney, Major Bootz, Captain 
Allen, Lieutenants Harold Allen and Thomas C. P. Martin, 
Sergeant Major O'Connell and the Company Clerks for 
data for this book ; Sergeant William Halligan, Privates 
John F. McLoughlin and Arthur Shea, Mr. Paul Shea, 
and Father John B. Kelly for assistance in preparing the 
manuscript for publication ; and Sergeants T. C. Ranscht 
and R. L. Clarke for the maps that appear in this volume. 



I Preparations at Home 13 

II In Training Abroad 36 

III The Luni&ville Sector 60 

IV The Baccarat Sector 85 

V The Champagne Defensive 119 

VI The Battle of the Ourcq 158 

VII After the Battle 207 

VIII The St. Mihiel Offensive 232 

IX The Argonne Offensive 261 

X With the Army of Occupation 306 

Historical Appendix by Joyce Kilmer . . .331 

Appendices 355 

Regimental Record 

Decorations, 165th Infantry 

Officers Who Served in the 165th Infantry 

Citations, 165th Infantry 

Officers of New York Chapter "Rainbow" 

Board of Trustees of the 165th Infantry 
Woman's Auxiliary to the 165th Infantry 


Colonel Donovan in Fighting Trim . . . Frontispiece 


FrancisP.Duffy, Chaplain, 1 65TH Infantry .... 22 

General Lenihan, Lieutenant Grose, Colonel Mitchell, 
Father Duffy, Mr. George Boothby of the **Y,** 

AND Judge Egeman of the K. of C 142 

Map of the Battlefield of the Ourcq 181 

At Quentin Roosevelt*s Grave. The Central Figure 

is Colonel McCoy 238 

Map of the St. Mihiel Salient 245 

Map of the Battle of the Argonne 295 

Operations Map: i6sth Infantry, 19 17-19 19 . . . 354 





June, 1917 
War with Germany was declared on April 6th, 19 17. 
Immediately the National Guard Regiments, knowing that 
they would be the first to be called from civilian occupa- 
tions, began campaigning for recruits. Ours was conducted 
with little noise or speech making. An Irish Regiment has 
its troubles in time of peace, but when the call to arms 
was sounding we knew that if they let us we could easily 
offer them an Irish Brigade for the service. We were more 
occupied with quality than with numbers. The one bit of 
publicity we indulged in was to send round our machine- 
gun trucks through the city streets with the placard, "Don't 
join the 69th unless you want to be among the first to go 
to France." That was the only kind of men we wanted — 
not impressionable youth who would volunteer under the 
stimulus of a brass band or a flood of patriotic oratory. 
The old-timers were told to bring in friends who had the 
right stuff in them. The Catholic Clergy were asked to 
send in good men from the Parish athletic clubs. 

The response was immediate. Every night the big re- 
ception rooms were packed with men taking the physical 
tests. The medical staff had to be increased at once to meet 
the situation and officers and enlisted men were impressed 



into the service for taking the minor tests. These tests 
were rigid. Nobody was taken who fell below the stand- 
ard in age, height, weight, sight or chest measurement — or 
who had liquor aboard or who had not a clean skin. Many 
of those who were turned down for underweight or imper- 
fect feet were readily accepted in other Regiments which 
had more difficulty in getting men. And when we re- 
ceived contingents from those regiments later on I often 
had to listen to the humorous reproach, "Well, I got in in 
spite of the lot of you." 

Amongst the sturdiest and brightest of our recruits were 
two young men who had recently been Jesuit Novices. I 
amused one Jesuit friend and, I am afraid, shocked another 
by saying that they were exercising a traditional religious 
privilege of seeking a higher state of perfection by quitting 
the Jesuits and joining the 69th. 

We came back from Texas less than a thousand strong. 
Of these we could count on 500 for a new war, which left 
us 1,500 to go to meet the number then fixed for an Infan- 
try Regiment — 2,002. We were not long in reaching that 
number. Lieutenant Colonel Reed telegraphed the War 
Department for permission, pending the proposed increase 
of a Regiment to 3,600, to establish a waiting list, but the 
application was refused. In the latter days we were turning 
away 300 a week, sending them to other Regiments. 

Our 2,000 men were a picked lot. They came mainly 
from Irish County Societies and from Catholic Athletic 
Clubs. A number of these latter Irish bore distinctly Ger- 
man, French, Italian or Polish names. They were Irish by 
adoption, Irish by association or Irish by conviction. The 
69th never attempted to set up any religious test. It was 
an institution offered to the Nation by a people grateful for 
liberty, and it always welcomed and made part of it any 
American citizen who desired to serve in it. But, naturally, 
men of Irish birth or blood were attracted by the traditions 
of the 69th, and many Catholics wanted to be with a regi- 
ment where they could be sure of being able to attend to 



their religious duties. About 5 percent of the 2,000 were 
Irish neither by race nor racial creed. 


July 20th, 1 91 7 
Frank Ward O'Malley of the New York Sun has writ- 
ten up in his inimitable style a little scene from life in an 
Irish regiment. The newcomers are not yet accustomed to 
the special church regulations relieving soldiers of the obli- 
gation of Friday abstinence. Last Friday the men came back 
from a hard morning's drill to find on the table a generous 
meal of ham and cabbage. The old-timers from the Border 
pitched into this, to the scandal of many of the newer men 
who refused to eat it, thus leaving all the more for the 
graceless veterans. After dinner a number of them came to 
me to ask if it were true that it was all right. I said it 
was, because there was a dispensation for soldiers. "Dis- 
pensation," said a Jewish boy, "what good is a dispensation 
for Friday to me. I can't eat ham any day of the week. 
Say, Father, that waiter guy, with one turn of his wrist, 
bust two religions." 


July 25th, 19 1 7 
A great day for Ireland. Everybody aboard and up the 
river to 152nd Street and then to the Polo Grounds. Base- 
ball Game as benefit for the 69th, between Giants and Cin- 
cinnatis, thanks to the generosity of our good friends, 
Harry Hempstead, John Whalen, Herbert Vreeland, and 
John J. McGraw. A fine game — plenty of people, plenty 
of fun, and best of all, plenty of money for the exchequer, 
which, after an ancient venerable custom, is going to have 
an ecclesiastical chancellor. Mr. Daniel M. Brady, the God- 
father of the regiment, had procured the signature of 
President Wilson on a baseball which he auctioned off dur- 
ing the game. I asked him if he had arranged for a pur- 


chaser. "I have selected one/' he said. "Is he aware that 
he is going to buy it?" I asked. "He will be informed at 
the proper time," said Mr. Brady with a smile. "How 
much is he going to pay for it?" "Well, I don't consider 
$500.00 too much to pay for the privilege." So after a 
certain number of bids, real or fictitious, the ball was 
knocked down at $500.00 to Mr. James Butler, who ac- 
cepted the verdict smilingly and was allowed the privilege 
of handing the ball back to me. I am to auction it in Paris 
for the French Orphans' Fund. So Mr. Brady says, 
though I wish I had his confidence that we shall ever get to 


^August 5th, 191 7 
Father John Kelly had me meet Joyce Kilmer this eve- 
ning. Nothing of the long-haired variety about him — a 
sturdy fellow, manly, humorous, interesting. He was a 
little shame-faced at first, for he had told Father Kelly 
that he was going to join up with the 69th and he is now 
in the 7th. "I went to the Armory twice," he said, "but 
failed to find the recruiting of^cer." I told him that if we 
could not have him in the 69th the next best place was the 
7th, but he still wants to return to his first love, so I shall 
be glad to arrange it. If he left the whole matter up to my 
^decision he would stay home and look after his large family 
and let men with fewer responsibilities undertake this task, 
at least until such time as the country would have need of 
^very man. But he is bound to do his share and do it at 
once, so there is no use taking off the fine edge of his en- 
thusiasm. He is going about this thing in exactly the same 
spirit that led him to enter the Church. He sees what he 
considers a plain duty, and he is going ahead to perform 
it, calm and clear eyed and without the slightest regard to 
what the consequences may be. 

I shall be glad to have him with us personally for the 
pleasure of his companionship, and also for the sake of the 


regiment to have a poet and historian who will confer upon 
us the gift of immortality. I compared him with the old 
lad that one lot of Greeks sent to another to stir them to 
victory by his songs; and he wagged a pair of vigorous 
protesting legs at me to show he was no cripple. So I tried 
him with a quotation from a poet that no poet could ever 
resist; and with some reservations about the words "Grey 
Bard" I managed to drive my compliment home: 

For not to have been dipt in Lethe's lake 
Could make the son of Thetis not to die ; 
But that grey bard did him immortal make 
With verses dipt in dews of Castaly. 


August 1 8th, 191 7 
We are still full of excitement at our selection from 
among the National Guard Regiments of New York to 
represent our State in the selected 42nd or Rainbow Divi- 
sion which is to go abroad amongst the very first for active 
service. It is an undeniable compliment to the condition 
of the Regiment and we are pleased at that as well as at the 
prospects of carrying our battle-ringed standards to fly their 
colors on the fields of France. Our Regimental organiza- 
tion has been accepted intact — it is no composite Regiment 
that has been selected ; it is the 69th New York. Our ranks 
however are to be swelled to the new total of 3,600 men by 
the transfer of enlisted men from the five other city Regi- 
ments of Infantry. We would have been glad to have done 
our own recruiting as we could easily have managed; but 
these are the orders. We shall give a royal Irish welcome 
to our new companions in arms. They are volunteers like 
ourselves and fellow townsnien, and after a little feeling out 
of one another's qualities we shall be a united Regiment 
Already we have received the contingent from our old 
friends in the 7th — handed over to us with a large gesture 
of comradeship which that old Regiment knows so well 
how to make. The departing body of 320 men were es- 


corted by the remaining officers and men, and passed 
through their guard of honor to our Armory floor. Our 
2,000 lined the walls and many perched themselves on the 
iron beams overhead. They cheered and cheered and 
cheered till the blare of the bands was unheard in the joy- 
ous din — till hearts beat so full and fast that they seemed 
too big for the ribs that confined them, till tears of emotion 
came, and something mystical was born in every breast — 
the soul of a Regiment. Heaven be good to the enemy 
when these cheering lads go forward together into battle. 


September ist, 191 7 
We are tenting tonight on the Hempstead Plains, where 
Colonel Duffy and the Old 69th encamped in 1898, when 
getting ready for service in the Spanish War. It is a huge 
regiment now — bigger, I think, than the whole Irish Brigade 
ever was in the Civil War. 

We have received our new men transferred from the 
1 2th, 14th, 23rd and 71st N. G. N. Y. Our band played 
them into Camp with the Regimental Air of "Garry Owen'* 
mingled with the good-fellow strains of ''Hail! Hail! the 
Gang's All Here." 

All in all, the newcomers are a fine lot. A couple of our 
sister organizations have flipped the cards from the bottom 
of the pack in some instances and worked off on us some 
of their least desirables. On the other hand, all the Regi- 
ments have made up for that by allowing men anxious to 
come to us to change places with those who prefer to stick 
where they are. This gives us a large number of the men 
we want — those that feel their feet on their native heath in 
the 69th, and those that like its recruiting slogan, "If you 
don't want to be amongst the first to go to France, don't 
join the 69th." For the rest, the Company Commanders 1, 
and Surgeons know "Thirty-five distinct damnations," or [ 
almost that many, by which an undesirable can be returned 


to civilian life to take his chances in the draft. Our re- 
cruiting office has been reestablished at the Armory. We 
can get all the good men we want. 

As he had put the matter in my hands Kilmer did not 
come over with the men from the 7th, but I had the matter 
of his transfer arranged after a short delay. 


September 26th, 1917 
I do not know whether to take it as a mark of general 
interest in the Old Regiment or as the result of the spon- 
taneous big-heartedness of a kindly and enthusiastic Irish 
artist — but John McCormack sang for us tonight. Sang in 
the open air with no stinting of voice or program. Our 
lads could have listened to him till morning; I never saw 
such an eager mob. They kept calling for their favorite 
McCormack songs and he, like the fine big Bouchal that he 
is, laughed at their sallies and gave them their hearts' de- 
sire, until I closed the unique performance by reminding 
them (and him) that we had a financial interest in his voice 
because he was to sing for the benefit of our Trustees Fund 
at no distant date. While I write, the camp is buzzing 
around me with talk of the great tenor. A voice from the 
darkness sums it up. "I always knew he was a great 
singer. We got a lot of his records at home. But the rec- 
ords never learned me that he's such a hell of a fine fellow." 


I mess with the Headquarters Company, and James Col- 
lintine, who has the job of looking after us, always wel- 
comes Sunday morning because it gives a chance for a 
friendly chat between the two of us. James had been a deep- 
water sailor for a good many years since he first left his 


home in the Old Country, but has taken up with the Infan- 
try because it gives more prospects for fighting service in 
this war. This morning he said, "Father Duffy, did ye iver 
hear of Father Hearrn of my parish in the County Long- 
ford?" "No, Jim, I never did." "Well, he was the grand- 
est man in all Ireland. There was eight hundhred min in 
Maynooth College where they study to be priests' and he 
could lick ivery dam wan of thim. He was a fine big man, 
six foot two in his stockin' feet. He used to come down 
the sthreet with a big stick in his hand, and if anybody 
gave anny throuble he'd knock you down just as quick as 
look at you. The whole parish loved him. Wanst there 
was a fight in the village green between the peelers and 
the people, and Father Hearrn was sint for to keep the 
peace and he came down the road bowling over the peelers 
as if they was nine pins. There niver was a nicer man 
within the four seas of Ireland.'' 

A soldier of Company K came to my tent one afternoon 
last week and stood at the entrance fumbling his hat in his 
hand like an Irish tenant of the old days that had not the 
rent to pay the landlord. "What's the matter, Tom?" "I 
took a dhrop too much, and Captain Hurley got very mad 
about it and brought me up before Major Moynahan. I 
wouldn't mind if they'd fine me and be through with it, for 
I know I deserve it. But the Major and the Captain say 
that they're not going to stand anything like this, and that 
they won't lave me go to the war. And sure, Father Duffy, 
if I couldn't go to the war it'd kill me." The smile that 
came to my lips at this very Irish way of putting it was 
suppressed when I thought of the number of men bom 
in the country who were worried sick lest the Draft should 
catch them and send them to the war. I assured Tom that 
I would use my powers of persuasion with the Captain and 
the Major to give him his heart's desire, if he would take 
the pledge. But we shall keep him worried by a suspended 
sentence until we get him safely away from the temptations 
of New York. 


I have found an old friend In Camp in the person of Mike 
Donaldson of Company I. Mike was an altar boy of mine 
in Haverstraw not long after I was ordained. We both 
left there, I to teach metaphysics and Mike for a career in 
the prize-ring, in which he became much more widely and 
favorably known to his fellow citizens than I can ever hope 
to be. One of his titles to fame is that he was sparring 
partner to Stanley Ketchell. He has brought me a set of 
battered boxing gloves which he presented to me with a 
very moving speech as relics of that departed hero. I do 
not know exactly what he expects me to do with the relics 
but I rather feel after his speech of presentation that it 
would be considered appropriate if I suspend them rever- 
ently from the rafter of my chapel like the ex voto offerings 
of ships that one sees in seaport shrines. 

I have become a marrying Parson. Love and fighting 
seem to go together — they are the two staples of romance. 
I have had a large number of marriages to perform. In 
most cases the parties enter my church tent from the rear 
and are quietly married before the simple altar. We have 
had a few weddings however on the grand scale. Michael 
Mulhern of the Band had arranged for a quiet wedding with 
a very sweet little girl named Peggy O'Brien. This after- 
noon at four o'clock when I was ready to slip over with the 
young couple and their witnesses to my canvas church I 
saw the band forming. "What is this formation for, Mi- 
chael. You don't have to be in it, do you ?'* "Ah, Father," 
said Michael, with a blush, "the boys heard somehow what 
was going to happen and theyVe going to serenade us.*' 
We had to parade over to church behind the band playing 
a wedding march, with 10,000 soldiers and visitors follow- 
ing curiously in the rear. So Michael and his bride were 
united in matrimony before a vast throng that cheered 
them, and showered them with rice that soldiers brought 
over from the kitchens, many of the lads battling with the 
groom for the privilege of kissing the bride. 


October 15th, 1917 
We will soon be off to the war and I have been looking 
over the Regiment, studying its possibilities. 

About the enlisted men I have not a single doubt. If 
this collection of hand-picked volunteers cannot give a good 
account of themselves in battle, America should keep out of 
war. The men will fight no matter who leads them. But 
fighting and winning are not always the same thing, and 
the winning depends much on the officers — their military 
knowledge, ability as instructors and powers of leadership. 
The Non-coms are a fine lot. The First Sergeants as I run 
over the list are a remarkable body of good old-time sol- 
diers. Starting with Company A, we have John O'Leary, 
John O'Neill, William Hatton, Tom Sullivan, William Bai- 
ley, Joseph Blake, John Burke, Jerome O'Neill, Patrick 
McMeniman, Tim Sullivan, Eugene Gannon, John Kenny ; 
with Denis O'Shea, A. McBride, J. Comiskey, and W. W. 
Lokker, for H. Q. M. G. Supply and Medical. All of these 
men have been tried out in the eight months of Border 
service and we are sure of them. Under Colonel Haskell 
the hard driven Company Commanders had to break their 
Sergeants in, or break them — life was too strenuous for fa- 
voritism. In fact, except for recruits, it is surprisingly 
Haskell's regiment that is going to the front; Haskell's, 
that is, with the reservation that his work was done on the 
basis of Colonel Conley's selection and promotion in the 
more difficult period of peace service. When we were se- 
lected for immediate over-seas service the authorities were 
free to make what changes they would, and they left the 
regiment intact except for the transfer of one Major and 
one Captain. The M. G. Company was vacant by resig- 
nation. All other officers remained at their posts, though 
we have been assigned a large number of newly created 
Lieutenants to correspond with the new tables of organiza- 
tion for a regiment of three thousand six hundred. 

We like our new Colonel, though he was a total stranger 
to us before the day he came to command us. He is a West 


Pointer, and went into railroading after some years in the 
army as a Lieutenant; but he has loyally reverted to the 
army whenever there was a real call to arms. In 1898 if 
I had achieved my desire to go out as Chaplain of the ist 
D. C. I would have had him as one of my Majors. He 
came into this conflict as organizer and commander of 
trains, a work for which his experience fitted him. He is 
a man of middle height with a strong body and an attrac- 
i tive face, healthily ruddy, strongly featured, with a halo of 
thick grey hair above. He is a man of ideas, of ideas 
formed by contact with life and business. He is a tireless 
worker, and demands the same unflinching service from 
every man under him. He has confidence in his men, espe- 
cially the tried soldiers, and he has a strong liking for I'.e 
Regiment and its traditions. The Regiment will do good 
work under the leadership of Colonel Charles Hine. 

Lieutenant Colonel Reed I like better and better every 
day I am with him. I did not take to him at first and I 
think he was largely to blame. He kept himself too much 
aloof. The fault, however, was partly ours. He came to 
us at a time when we felt suspicious that it was the inten- 
l tion to destroy our character as an Irish organization, and 
I' we owed too much to the men who had created the Regi- 
u ment and made its reputation with their blood to submit 
tamely to such a scheme as that. Colonel Reed was not 
used to being where he was not wanted, and his attitude 
was the result of this decent feeling. When the task of 
forming a war-strength regiment fell to him he took hold 
and worked with single-minded vigor, and he then found 
that everybody was anxious to work with him loyally. He 
discovered, what 1 could have told him, that one thing the 
Sixty-ninth admires is a good soldier. And Reed is a good 
soldier, keen, active, and aggressive. He learned at once 
to love the regiment and is as enthusiastic as myself in his 
regard for it. We spend a great deal of our free time to- 
gether, for we have much in common. 

The senior Major, Timothy J. Moynahan, is the ideal of 


the Irish soldier, as he comes down to us in history and in 
fiction. He inherits from Patrick Sarsfield's cavaliers, from 
the regiments of Dillon and Burke at Fontenoy, from the 
Connaught Rangers at Fuentes d'Onoro, A soldier bom 
— trim, erect, handsome, active in his movements, com- 
manding and crisp in his orders. And a soldier bred — he 
lives for the military game, devotes his life to his work as 
military instructor in colleges, and to the old 69th. He is 
ready with a toast or a speech or a neatly phrased compli- 
ment, and equally ready to take up the gage of battle, if 
anyone should throw it down. A vivid interesting char- 
acter in our drab modern life. He has one fault — a flar- 
ing Irish temper when military discipline is violated or high 
ideals belittled. A fault, yes, but I feel there will be tense 
moments of life for anybody with Tim Moynahan when the 
time comes for a death grapple with the Germans. Phil 
Sheridan would have delighted in him. 

Major Stacom is my parishioner and I am his recruit. 
He acquired his interest in soldiering as a boy at St. Fran- 
cis Xavier College under the stalwart old soldier, after- 
wards the hero of Santiago — Captain Drum. He came 
to the Regiment as a boy out of college, an enlisted man, 
and the Irish lads, after guying the handsome youngster in 
his college clothes, learned to love and admire him for his 
knowledge and ability. When he became Captain of Com- 
pany B he recruited it by his personal efforts, and on the 
Border he had one of the best companies in the Regiment. 
Colonel Haskell picked him from the Company Command- 
ers as the first man to nominate for a Majority. He rules 
by reason and kindliness, and evokes the best co-operation 
of all under him — officers or men. 

Major William J. Donovan, who commands the first Bat- 
talion was transferred to us from the Brigade Staff, but 
he is no stranger to us. On the Border when he was Cap- 
tain of Troop I of the ist Cavalry he was tlie best known 
man of his rank in the New York Division. It was almost 
certain that Donovan would be appointed our Colonel after 


the efforts to get Colonel Haskell had failed, as he was our 
next choice, and General O'Ryan knew that there were no 
politics about it, but a sincere desire to find the best military 
leader. General O'Ryan esteems Donovan as highly as we 
do. When we were selected to put the green in the Rain- 
bow all the vacancies were to be filled by transfer, not by 
promotion. Donovan was a Major on the Staff of our Bri- 
gade. Everybody knew that he could get higher rank by 
staying with the 27th Division but he preferred to join in 
with us. He would rather fight with the 69th than with any 
other Regiment, especially now that it is to be the first in 
the fray, and he would rather be Major than Colonel, for 
in battles as now conducted it is Majors who command in 
the actual fighting. 

Donovan is a man in the middle thirties, very attractive 
in face and manner, an athlete who always keeps himself 
in perfect condition. As a football player at Niagara and 
Columbia, he gained the sobriquet of "Wild Bill." But 
that is tribute gained by his prowess rather than his de- 
meanor. He is cool, untiring, strenuous, a man that al- 
ways uses his head. He is preparing his men for the fa- 
tigues of open warfare by all kinds of wearying stunts. 
They too call him "Wild Bill" with malicious unction, after 
he has led them over a cross country run for four miles. 
But they admire him all the same, for he is the freshest man 
in the crowd when the run is over. He is a lawyer by pro- 
fession, and a successful one, I am told. I like him for his 
agreeable disposition, his fine character, his alert and eager 
intelligence. But I certainly would not want to be in his 

Major George Lawrence of the Sanitar}^ Detachment is 
one of the best acquisitions of our Border experience. 
When Major Maguire had to leave us, we all reached out 
for Lawrence, who was attached to the 12th, but was doing 
duty at the hospital there. He is well educated, a product 
of St. Francis Xavier and Pennsylvania, a competent phy- 
sician and surgeon, a famous athlete in football and basket- 


ball in his day, and an athlete still; and one of the most 
devoted and most reliable men that God has made for the 
healing of wounds of mind or body. When I think of what 
we shall have to go through it makes me feel good to see 
George Lawrence around. 

Captain Walter E. Powers of Headquarters Company is 
an old soldier though 3till a young man. He entered the 
Regular Army out of high school, out of short trousers, I 
tell him. He was Regimental Sergeant Major of the 7th 
Cavalry when Haskell was Adjutant of that famous Regi- 
ment. And when Haskell became Colonel he pulled Powers 
out of the Pershing Expedition and made him Adjutant of 
the 69th; and he was the best Adjutant on the Border. 
Latterly he has begun to pine for a Company and Colonel 
Hine gave him the Headquarters Company, the duties of 
which are so varied and so new that it will take a soldier- 
lawyer like Powers to organize it. He has the keenest dry- 
est humor of any man I know. H he had not run away to 
be a soldier he would have made a successful lawyer or 

Captain George McAdie of Company A is a Scotchman. 
We tell him that is the worst ^thing we know about him, 
which is our way of saying that we do not know anything 
bad about him. Personally I am very fond of our Scot- 
tish cousins, because I have known many real Scotchmen 
and not merely jokes about them. The jokes never give 
you a suspicion that Scotland idolizes Robert Burns, and 
produces fighting men as fine as there are in the world. 
George is my kind of Scot — like a volcano, rugged to out- 
ward view, but glowing with fire beneath. A good soldier 
and a true friend — you like him when you know him a 
while, and you find something new to like in him the longer 
you know him. H his health be as strong as his spirit he 
will do great things in the 69th. 

Captain Thomas Reilley of Company B is an imposing 
being. He stands six feet three or so and fills the eye with 
seeing any way you look at him. He is also a college ath- 


lete, a football player of renown, of Columbia and New 

York Universities. A lawyer of real power and ability, he 

has not given himself time yet to reach his full stride in his 

:, profession. Since his college days he has been too much in 

i demand for other services for which his endowments and 

instincts fit him — athlete, soldier, with a short course in 

, political life, characteristically as an independent. He 

|, writes well and talks well — too well, sometimes, for the 

Irish in him makes him indifferent to the effects of what 

he has to say. It makes him indifferent to all other sorts of 

\ danger too; so with his great physical and mental powers 

and his capacity for organization he will render invaluable 

(service to the work of the Regiment. 
Captain William Kennelly of Company C is also an ath- 
' lete, with the build of a runner, clean-cut, trim, alert. Brisk 
. is the word that describes him, for the trait is mental as 
well as physical. He is a Company drill master in the 
best sense of the word. I have never seen anybody who 
could get more snap out of a body of men with less nag- 
ging, whether it was a parade or a policing detail than Bill 
! Kennelly. I expect to see Company C the smartest Com- 
pany in the Regiment. 

Captain James A. McKenna of Company D is a lawyer — 
Harvard and Fordham produced him. He is a fellow of 
great ability, ambitious, energetic and enduring. He will 
go far in any line he may choose, and as a soldier he will 
score a high mark. He has fine ideals and fine sentiments 
which he chooses to conceal under a playfully aggressive or 
business-like demeanor. But his enthusiasms, patriotic, 
religious, personal, are the true fundaments of him, and 
everybody feels it. He lets himself out most in his affection 
for his men who reciprocate his devotion. Company D un- 
der Jim McKenna will play a big part in our annals of war. 

Alexander E. Anderson of Company E is a 69th man by 
heredity. His uncle. Colonel Duffy, commanded the Regi- 
ment in 1898. His cousin. Major John Duffy, was in the 
Regiment when Anderson was old enough to join it — and 


he joined it as a private just as soon as they would let 
him. He is a soldier through and through. His family 
and his business are near to him, but the 69th is first in 
his thoughts. He has gone through all the stages from pri- 
vate to captain without any family favoritism and today he 
stands out as the keenest Captain in the Regiment. He 
went to an Officer's Training School two years ago and 
graduated with a hundred percent. Sometimes they call 
him the 100 percent soldier, a title which grates on him 
exceedingly, for he hates such labels of praise, whether 
meant or not. Colonel Hine has asked me for the names 
of three Captains who might be recommended for Majors 
in emergency. I told him I would name only one, and 
after that one, half a dozen or more. "Oh,'' he said, "you 
mean Anderson. That is what the Battalion Commanders 
all say." 

Captain Michael Kelly is an old soldier, though not an old 
man. He can wear military medals on dress-suit occasions 
which puzzle even the experts. A County Clare man by 
birth, he was drawn by fighting instincts as a youth into 
the British Army, since there was no Irish Army organized, 
and fought through the Boer War and Burmese campaigns. 
In New York he is second in command of the aqueduct po- 
lice and a Captain of the 69th, succeeding Captain P. J. 
Maguire, who gave up his beloved Company F with satis- 
faction only because it fell to his trusted Lieutenant. Cap- 
tain Kelly is a soldier first, last and all the time. His 
spear knoweth no brother. He visits infractions of military 
discipline with sternness and vigor. His Company stands 
in awe of him, and boasts of him to others. They are 
well looked after. If I have anything to distribute I have 
to keep an eye on him and Anderson, the two tyrants 
amongst Company Commanders. Give them their way 
and everything would go to Companies E and F, with a 
humorous growl between the two as to who gets the most 
of the spoils. 

The Irish-American A. C. gave us Captain James Archer, 


as it and kindred organizations have given us many of our 
best soldiers. There are few young fellows around New 
York who have not heard of Jimmy Archer, and many a one 
has watched with delight his fleet limbs carrying his grace- 
ful figure and shining head around the track to victory. He 
has the cleanness and fineness of the amateur track athlete — 
very distinctly a man and a gentleman. He has won his 
way through every step upward in the* Regiment and has 
fairly won his race to the Captain's bars. 

Captain James G. Finn of Company H is a Spanish 
War veteran, though he looks so young that he has to carry 
around his service record and the family Bible to prove it. 
Not that anybody would call Jim a liar. Not after taking 
one look at him. He is a broad-shouldered, big-chested fel- 
low, one that the eye will pick out of a crowd, even in a 
congested crowd, for he stands above the heads of ordinary 
mortals. A football player, of course — Dartmouth College. 
A big honest manly man and a devoted soldier. Jim Finn 
thinks that Company H is the best bunch of fighting men 
that ever shouldered a rifle, and Company H knows that 
their big Captain is the finest man in the American Army. 
There are two hundred and fifty of them, and the Captain 
has thews like the son of Anak, so I don't intend to start 
anything by contradicting either of them. Anyway, I more 
than half agree w4th them. 

Captain Richard J. Ryan of Company I is a new comer 
and, like a boy in a new town, he has his way to make. 
;. li I be not ''mistook in my jedgments" he will make it. 
\ He hails from Watertown, New York, and from the ist 
J New York Infantry, but that does not complete his military 
{ history. . He fought in the Boer War, I suspect from 
ji the same reason that prompted Kelly — because that was the 
^1 only war there was, and a man must do the best with the 
j; opportunities he has. He is all wrapped up in his Com- 
._ pany. He does not seem to care a hang what anybody 
' higher up is thinking about him. He has his job and he 
.' wants to see it done right. That is a good sign. A soldier 


by natural instinct and preference, a Captain devoted to 
his men — that goes with the 69th. I am for him. 

Captain John Patrick Hurley of Company K, is an argu- 
ment for the continued existence of the Irish as a people. 
He has everything that everybody loves in the Irish, as 
found even the reluctant tributes of their hereditary foes. 
He has a lean, clean handsome face and figure, and a 
spirit that responds to ideals patriotic, religious, racial, 
human, as eagerly and naturally as a bird soaring into its 
native air. He is perfectly willing to die for what he be- 
lieves in. He would find that much easier than to live in a 
world of the cheap and commonplace. He always reminds 
me of the Easter-week patriots of Dublin, Patrick Pearse 
and Plunkett and MacDonagh. Like myself, and I may 
say all of us, he is in this war as a volunteer because he 
feels that it is a war against the tyranny of the strong, 
and a fight for the oppressed peoples of the earth. He is 
an able, practical man withal; an engineer, graduate of Cor- 
nell. He rules his company as their mihtary commander, 
and the tribute of affection and loyalty they pay him is not 
lessened by the knowledge they have that breaches of dis- 
cipline will meet with no mercy. 

Captain Merle-Smith of Company L came to us on the 
Border from Squadron A, and the intervening year of in- 
timacy has not changed the judgment I uttered the firsi 
time I saw him : *'If I had to pick out one man to spend a 
year with me on a voyage to Central Africa, there is the 
man I would select." A big fellow — he and Reilly and Finrf 
are our prize specimens — and big, like them, all the wa} 
through; and with the astonishing simplicity — in the ok 
theological sense of the word as contrasted with duplicity— 
that one so often finds in big men. A college athlet< 
(Princeton) and a lawyer, the contests of the campus anci 
the bar have only whetted his appetite for more intens< 
battles. From the time he joined us he has felt that th« 
best opening for real soldier work is in this regiment. H< 
is a 69th man by conviction, and he is as fond of his valian 


Iverrymen in Company L as they are of him. I found no 
one in the recruiting period more zealous in increasing the 
numbers of the regiment and maintaining at the same time 
its characteristic flavor than Captain Van Santvoordt Merle- 

Captain William Doyle commanded Company M when 
we were called out, but since Captain Powers took the 
Headquarters Company he has been made Adjutant. It was 
a good choice. Captain Doyle is a college man (St. Fran- 
cis Xavier) and an engineer by profession, and has been a 
National Guardsman for more years than one would guess. 
His training fits him for his new job. His mind is quick 
on the trigger, though the speed and accuracy with which 
it shoots a retort is rendered deceptive by his slightly 
humorous drawl in delivery. He is not one of the big fel- 
lows, but the big fellows think twice before taking him on. 

Martin Meaney, Captain of Company M, was a Sergeant 
of Company G when we were in Texas. I wanted Colonel 
Haskell to make him a Second Lieutenant, but Martin 
hadn't left the County Clare soon enough to satisfy the tech- 
nicality of having his final citizen papers. He could fight 
for the United States, but he could not be an officer. He 
came of age as a citizen during the summer and went to 
Plattsburg, and the people in charge there made him not a 
Second Lieutenant but a Captain. Colonel Haskell, who is 
Adjutant at Camp Upton, found the chance to send him 
back to us as a Captain, and we were very glad to get him. 
For we know Martin Meaney; and everyone who knows 
Martin Meaney likes him and trusts him. He is a fine, 
manly upstanding young Irishman devoted to high ideals, 
practical and efficient withal. Granted the justice of my 
cause there is no man in the world I would so much rely on 
to stick to me to the end as Martin Meaney. It makes us 
all feel better to have him along with us in our adventure 
of war. 

The vacancy in the Machine Gun Company was filled by 
the appointment of Captain Kenneth Seibert, an old guards- 


man of the Iowa National Guard. He has the position of 
Johnny-come-lately with us yet, but he knows the game 
and he will be a veteran of ours by the time we get to our 
first battle. His whole organization is practically new, but 
he is very keen about it, and is an excellent manager, so 
we feel that he will soon have it in shape. 

Captain John Mangan of the Supply Company is the salt 
of the earth. I like Jack Mangan so much that I always 
talk that way about him, and incidentally I waste his time 
and mine by holding him for a chat whenever we meet. He 
came to us before we went to the Border. His friends 
were in another regiment, but all that was nice and Irish 
about him made him want to be with the 69th. He is a 
Columbia man and a contractor. Colonel Haskell got 
his eye on him, Tvhen, as a Second Lieutenant, he was put 
in charge of a aetail of offenders who had to do some 
special work. Under Mangan their work was not mere pot- 
tering around. They did things. While we were on the 
big hike Mangan was left behind with a detail of cripples 
to build mess shacks. They were built, created is a better 
word, but we were doomed never to use them, as we got 
orders during the hike to proceed to another station. I said 
to Haskell : "Don't forget to compliment Lieutenant Man- 
gan on his work, for he has done wonders, and it looks now 
to have been all in vain." Haskell answered with assumed 
grimness: "Lieutenant Mangan will not be Lieutenant 
Mangan long." He was Captain Mangan, R. S. O. (Regi- 
mental Supply Officer) as soon as the formalities could be 
arranged ; and in a short time he was the best supply officer 
on the Border, as his training as a contractor gave him ex- 
perience in handling men and materials. 

Everybody likes Mangan — half -rebellious prisoners and 
sodjering details and grasping civilians and grouchy divi- 
sion quartermasters. For "he has a way wid him." At 
bottom it is humor and justness, with appreciation of the 
other fellow's difficulties and states of mind. With his 
fairness and balance, he carries such an atmosphere of 


geniality and joy of life that everybody begins to feel a new 
interest in the game and a new willingness to play a decent 
part in it. 

So far as I can see it now, our Captains average higher 
than our Lieutenants, though time will have to show if I am 
right. But at present I can point my finger to half a dozen 
Captains at least who could easily fill the job of Major, 
without being so certain of finding an equal number of 
Lieutenants who could make as good Captains as the men 
they replace. Probably all that this proves is that the Cap- 
tains have the advantage of experience in their positions, 
and that their juniors, when equal opportunity is given 
them, will develop to be just as good. Amongst the Lieu- 
tenants the first to my mind is John Prout, a fine young 
Tipperary man of the stamp of Hurley and Meaney. Oth- 
ers in line are Samuel A. Smith, John Poore and William 
McKenna, the four Burns brothers (all good, but Jim in my 
judgment the best), also William Bums, Richard Allen, 
Clifford, Kelley, Kinney, Joseph MacNamara, Crimmins, 
Carroll, Andrew Lawrence, John Green, Thomas C. Mar- 
tin, with Rowley, Grose, Baker, Joseph O'Donohue, James 
Mangan, O'Brien, Philbin, Cavanaugh, Reune Martin, who 
came to us while in the Armory. Of the newcomers sent 
to us here at Camp Mills four of the old regular army men 
stand out : Lieutenants Michael J. Walsh, Henry A. Bootz, 
Patrick Dowling and Francis McNamara. Our Medical 
Department consists of Major Lawrence with Doctors 
Houghton, Lyttle, Martin, Kilcourse, Levine, Patton, Bam- 
ford, Austin Lawrence and Landrigan. 

October 25th, 1917 
We are the best cared for Regiment that ever went to 
war. Mr. Daniel M. Brady, who was chairman of the Com- 
mittee for employment, appointed by Justice Victor J. Dow- 
ling of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, when we came 
back from the Border, has reorganized and increased that 
body and our Board of Trustees now consists of Morgan 


J. O'Brien, chairman, Daniel M. Brady, John J. Whalen, 
Joseph P. Grace, Victor J. Dowling, John D. Ryan, George 
McDonald, Nicholas F. Brady, John E. O'Keefe, Louis D. 
Conley, and Bryan Kennelly. They have raised ample 
funds from private subscriptions and from the generous 
benefits offered through the kindly generosity of the New 
York Baseball Club and of Mr. John McCormack. They 
have given $10,000.00 in cash to the Company and Regi- 
mental Funds, and $1,600 for the Chaplain's Fund "for 
religion and divilment." All sorts of sporting goods, in- 
cluding two complete sets of uniforms of Giants and Cubs, 
equip us fully for the sort of strenuous life which we most 

The Women's Auxiliary is also formed, Mrs. Hennings 
being the President, for looking after the families of sol- 
diers while they are away, and sending gifts abroad. 

Some of our wealthy friends in the Board of Trustees 
have also held dinners to which have been invited the prin- 
cipal officers of Regiment, Brigade, and Division. It has 
helped us to get acquainted with our chief superiors. I 
was particularly glad to have the opportunity of getting a 
more intimate knowledge of General Mann and his Chief of 
Staff, Colonel Douglas Mc Arthur — a brilliant youthful- 
looking soldier for whom I had already formed a high 
esteem and admiration from casual meeting. He has been 
very helpful in furthering my plans to have a large body of 
priests from Brooklyn and New York give the men of 
the whole Division an opportunity of receiving the sacra^ 
ments before going abroad. 


October 28th, 1917 
Orders at last. They came in for the ist Battalion Octo- 
ber 25th^ They slipped out quietly by night. I went with 
them to Montreal, travelling with Companies B and D. 
The men were in gleeful spirits, glad to have the wait over 


and to be off on the Long Trail. Edward Connelly and I 
sat up chatting most of the night. One remark of his 
struck me. His father was Captain of Company B in the 
69th during the Civil War. ''Some people say to me, 'With 
your two boys I don't see how you can afford to go to 
war.' With my two boys I can't see how I can afford not 
to go to war." 

The two soldiers who appealed to me most aboard the; 
train were Supply Sergeant Billy McLaughlin and Lieuten- 
ant Bootz. They stayed up all night to look after our needs, 
and they showed a combination of efficiency and cheerful- 
ness — a very model of soldierly spirit. 

I saw them all onto the Tunisia on their way to Liver- 
pool. God speed them. 



November 13th, 191 7 
We moved out of Camp Mills on the night of October 
29th and took trains at the nearby station — off at last for 
foreign service. Parts of Companies L^and M were left 
to guard the camp. We found at Hoboken that we were 
to sail on a fine ship — the converted German liner Amerika 
which had been re-christened with the change of the penul- 
timate letter. Our trip was uneventful. The seas were 
calm, and sailing on the America was like taking a trip 
on the end of a dock — you had to look over the side to 
realize that she was in motion. No submarines, though we 
were on constant watch for them. "What are you doing 
here?" asked one of the ship's officers of big Jim Hillery, 
who stood watch. ^'Looking for something Oi don't want 
to foind," answered Jim with a grin. 

We did not know where our journey was to end but 
finally on November 12th we made port in the beautiful 
harbor of Brest, where we have been idling all week be- 
cause we have been the first convoy to put in here, and 
no preparations have been made to land us and our equip- 
ment, and afford transportation to our destination. 

November 15th, 19 17 

This morning I told Colonel Hine that I wanted a day 

in town to get some necessaries for my church work, and 

permission was readily granted. I inquired the way to 

the nearest church, timing my visit to get in around the 



dinner hour, so as to get an invitation for a meal. As I 
rang the bell of the rectory, the door opened and a poor 
woman with two children came out carrying a basket into 
which the housekeeper had put food. I said to myself: 
Where charity exists, hospitality ought to flourish. I waited 
in the customary bare ecclesiastical parlor for the Cure, 
and at last he came, a stout middle-aged man, walking with 
a limp. I presented myself, very tall and quite imposing 
in my long army overcoat, and told him I came in search 
of altar breads. He immediately proposed to take me to a 
convent some distance away where my wishes might be sat- 
isfied. As I followed him along the cobbled streets I said 
to myself, "I had thought these Bretons were a kind of 
Irish, but they lack the noblest of the traditions of the Celtic 
race, or this old gentleman would have asked me to din- 
ner." It was only later that I found that my tremendous 
presence had embarrassed him and he had therefore decided 
to bring me to somebody whom nothing would embarrass. 
One need not say that this was a woman — the Mother 
Superior of an institution which was school, orphanage and 
pension in one. 

She was of a type not unusual in heads of religious com- 
munities — cultivated, balanced, perfectly serene. After sup- 
plying my needs she asked gently, ^'Monsieur has dined?" 
''No, Monsieur has not dined." *Terhaps Monsieur would 
accept the humble hospitality of the convent." "Monsieur 
is a soldier, and soldiers have but one obligation — never to 
refuse a meal when they can get it." She smiled and 
brought me to the dining room, where I met the old chap- 
lain and two equally elderly professors from some col- 
lege, who pumped me about America and myself and Wil- 
son and myself and Roosevelt and myself until the meal 
was over. Then I sallied forth with my stout Cure who 
evidently had absorbed, as he sat silent through the meal, 
all the information I had been giving out, particularly about 
myself. For he brought me into forty stores and stopped 
on the street at least a hundred people (and he knew every- 


body in town) to introduce proudly his prize specimen 
of an American priest in uniform. The introduction in- 
variably took this form: 

"Monsieur is an American." "He is an officer." "Mon- 
sieur, though one would not know it, is a priest. He has a 
large parish in the City of New York. He has been a Pro- 
fessor in the Seminary — of Philosophy, mind you. Monsieur 
has a parish with three vicaires. He receives from the noble 
government of the United States a stipend of ten thousand 
francs a year. That is what this great country gives their 
Chaplains. He is a Chaplain. He has crosses on his collar. 
Also on his shoulders. HI were taller I could see them. I 
saw them when he was sitting down." 

And at the end, and always with a little break in his voice 
as he fumbled with the button of my tunic, *'M. L'Aumonier 
wears the tricolor of our country with the badge of the 
Sacred Heart, which was pinned there by the great Car- 
dinal of New York." And this was the man that I thought 
at first to be cold and unfriendly. 

I had to break away finally to get back to my ship as 
evening was beginning to gather. I started for the dock, 
interested all the way to observe the Celtic types of the 
passersby and giving them names drawn from my Irish 
acquaintance, as Tim Murphy or Mrs. O'Shaughnessy. 
Feeling that I was not making for the dock from which I 
left, I turned to a knot of boys, introducing myself as a 
priest and telling them that I wanted to get back to the 
American transports. They jumped to help me as eagerly 
as my own altar boys at home would do. One alert black- 
eyed lad of fourteen took command of the party, the rest 
of them trailing along and endeavoring to give advice and 
support. But from the beginning this one youngster was 
in undoubted command of the situation. I tried once or 
twice to ask where he was bringing me, but received only a 
brief "Suivez-moi, Monsieur." Our journey ended in an 
alley where the calls of my guide brought out two fishermen 
who needed only red night-caps and knives in their teeth 


to bring up associations of Stevenson's pirate-mutineers. 
But they were ready to ferry me over to my ship for a 
compensation, a compensation which became quite moderate 
when my Mentor explained their obhgation as CathoHcs 
and as Frenchmen to a priest and an ally. 

I was about to embark in their fishing smack when a 
French marine came along the dock and said that under no 
circumstances could a boat cross the harbor after sunset. 
My fishermen argued ; I argued ; even my irresistible young 
guide stated the case; but to no avail. Finally I said to 
the youngster, **Why waste my time with this creature of a 
marine. Lead me to the person the most important in 
Brest, the Mayor, the Governor, the Master of the Port, the 
Commander of the Fleet. From such a one I shall receive 
permission." The youth gave me a quick look and I think 
he would have winked if my face were not so sternly set 
with the importance I had assumed. He led me off to 
the ofifice of the Harbormaster. It was closed. I could 
find no person except the janitor who was sweeping the 
front steps. I was so put out at the prospect of not getting 
back from my leave on time that I had to talk to some 
person, so I told the janitor my worries. He insinuated 
that something might be arranged. I had traveled in 
Europe before and had learned how things get themselves 
arranged. So I produced from my pocket a nice shiny 
two-franc piece; and in a moment I discovered that I had 
purchased for thirty-five cents in real money the freedom 
of the Port of Brest. My janitor descended upon the 
faithful marine with brandished broom and bellowed objur- 
gations that such a creature should block the way of this 
eminent American Officer who wished to return to his ship. 

I stood in the prow of the smack as we made our way 
across the dark and rainy harbor and I felt for the first 
time the touch of romance as one gets it in books. I 
thought back over the day, and I had the feeling that my 
adventures had begun, and had begun with a blessing. 



Nov. 27th, 1 91 7 
Naives in Blooey we call it, with a strong hoot on the 
last word. If Thomas Cook and Son ever managed a per- 
sonally conducted party as we have been handled and then 
landed it in a place like this, that long established firm 
would have to close up business forthwith. Guy Empey 
and all the rest of them had prepared us for the ''Hommes 
40; Chevaux 8" box-cars, but description never made any- 
body realize discomforts. Anyway, we went through it and 
we would have been rather disappointed if they had brought 
us on our three-day trip across France in American plush- 
seat coaches (by the way we growled about them when we 
went to the Border). A year from now if we are alive wei 
shall be listening with an unconcealed grin of superiority 
to some poor fish of a recruit who gabbles over the hard- 
ships he has undergone in the side-door Pullmans. 

We are forgetting our recent experiences already in the 
meanness of these God-forsaken villages. We are in six 
of them — each the worst in the opinion of the Companies 
there. Naives will do for a description of Vacon, Brous- 
sey, Villeroi, Bovee or Sauvoy. A group of 40 houses along 
the slopes of a crinkled plain. The farmers all live to- 
gether in villages, as is the custom in France. And many 
features of the custom are excellent. They have a church, 
school, community wash houses with water supply, good 
roads with a common radiating point and the pleasures 
of society, such as it is. 

The main drawback is that the house on the village 
street is still a farm house. The dung heap occupies a place 
of pride outside the front door; and the loftier it stands and 
the louder it raises its penetrating voice, the more it pro- 
claims the worth and greatness of its possessor. The house 
is half residence and half stable with a big farm loft over- 
topping both. The soldiers occupy the loft. I censored a 
letter yesterday in which one of our lads said : "There are 


three classes of inhabitants in the houses — first, residents; 
second, cattle; third, soldiers." Over my head are some 
boys from Company B who got in ahead of us with the 
First Battalion, coming by way of England and then via 
Havre, after a long and tedious trip. They are Arthur 
Viens, Tom Blackburn and Jim Lannon of my own parish 
with Gilbert, Gilgar, Weick, and Healey. Their life is 
typical of the rest. Up in the morning early and over to 
Sergeant Gilhooley's wayside inn for breakfast. Then cut 
green wood for fire, or drill along the muddy roads or dig 
in the muddier hillsides for a target range — this all day 
with a halt for noon meal. Supper at 4:00 o'clock; and 
already the sun has dropped out of the gloomy heavens, if 
indeed it has ever shown itself at all. Then — then noth- 
ing. They cannot light lanterns — we have landed right 
bang up behind the front lines the first jump ; we can hear 
the heavy guns booming north along the St. Mihiel lines; 
and the aeroplanes might take a notion to bomb the town 
some night if lights stood out. No fire — dangerous to light 
even a cigarette in a hay loft. There are a couple of wine 
shops in town but they are too small to accommodate the 
men. If they had a large lighted place where they could 
have the good cheer of wine and chat evenings it would be 
a blessing. They are not fond enough of "Pinard" to dq 
themselves harm with it and I think the pious inn keepers 
see that it is well baptized before selling it. Good old 
Senator Parker of the Y. M. C. A. has been right on the 
job with tents for the men^-of course without any curse 
of "rum'' in them — but the cold weather makes it dif- 
ficult to render them habitable. 

So most of the men spread their blankets in the straw 
and go to bed at six o'clock — a good habit in the minds of 
old-fashioned folks. The squad overhead have another 
good old-fashioned habit. From the stable below I can hear 
them say their beads in common before settling down to 
sleep. "Father" Pat Heaney of Company D got them into 
the way of it on the boat. Good lads ! 


In comparison with them my fittings are palatial. I 
have a large square low-ceil inged room with stone floor, 
and French windows with big wooden shutters to enclose 
the light. The walls are concealed by the big presses or 
Armoires so dear to the housewives of Lorraine. The one 
old lady who occupies this house has lived here for all of her 
70 years (a German officer occupied the high canopied bed 
in 1870) and she has never let any single possession she 
ever had get away from her. They are all in the Armoires, 
old hats, bits of silk, newspapers — everything. She is very 
pious and very pleased to have M. I'Aumonier, but she 
wouldn't give me a bit of shelf room or a quarter inch of 
candle or a handful of petit hois to start a fire in the 
wretched fireplace, without cash down. 

^'Monsieur is a Cure" 
*'Yes, Madame." 

My landlady has been quizzing me about the Regiment, 
my parish and myself. She doesn't understand this volun- 
teer business. If we didn't have to come, why are we 
here? is her matter of fact attitude. She was evidently 
not satisfied with what she could learn from me herself, 
so one day she called to her aid a crony of hers, a woman 
of 50 with a fighting face and straggly hair whom I had 
dubbed "the sthreeler," because no English word described 
her so adequately. I had already heard the Sthreeler's 
opinion of the women in Paris — all of them. It would have 
done the hussies good to hear what she thought of them. 
Now she turned her interrogatory sword point at me; no 
parrying about her methods — just slash and slash again. . 

"Monsieur has three vicaires." "Yes, Madame." 

"Then why has M. I'Aumonier come over here? Why not 
send one of the Vicaires and stay at home in his parish ?" 

"But none of the vicaires was aumonier of the Regiment; 
but myself, M. le Cure. 

"Oh, perhaps the Germans destroyed your parish as they 
did that of our present cure." 


"No, the Germans have not got to New York yet so my 
parish is still safe." 

*'Ah, then, I have it. No doubt the Government pays you 
more as aumonier than the church does as cure." 

This v^as said with such an evident desire to justify her 
good opinion of me as a rational being in spite of apparent 
foolishness, that I said : "That is precisely the reason" ; 
and we turned with zest to the unfailing topic of the 
Parisiennes with their jewels and paint and high heels. 
Not having her courage, I did not venture to ask the 
sthreeler if she did not really envy them. 

They are going in strong for education in the A. E. F. 
and we have lost temporarily the services of many of our 
best officers. Lieutenant Colonel Reed has gone off to 
school and also the three Majors and half the Captains. 
I hope they are getting something out of their schooling 
for nobody here is learning anything except how to lead the 
life of a tramp. The men have no place to drill or to shoot 
or to manoeuvre. I hear we are moving soon to fresh fields 
further south — Heaven grant it, for we waste time here. 


December 23rd, 1917 
I think it was Horace who said something to the effect 
that far-faring men change the skies above them but not 
the hearts within them. That occurs to me when I see our 
lads along the streets of this ancient Roman town. It is 
old, old, old. You have to go down steps to get to the floor 
of the 700-year-old Gothic nave of the church because the 
detritus of years has gradually raised the level of the 
square; and the tower of the church, a huge square donjon 
with walls seven feet thick slitted for defensive bowmen, 
is twice as old as the nave. And it has the ruins of an 
amphitheatre and a well preserved mosaic pavement that 
date back to the third century, when the Caesars had a big 
camp here to keep the Gauls in order. I shan't say that 


the men are not interested in these antiquities. They are 
an intelhgent lot, and unsated by sight-seeing, and they 
give more attention to what they see than most tourists 
would. When I worked the history of the place into my 
Sunday sermon I could see that everybody was wide awake 
to what I had to say. 

But in their hearts they are still in good little old New 
York. The quips and slang of New York play houses are 
heard on the streets where Caesar's legionaries chaffed each 
other in Low Latin. Under the fifteen centuries old tower 
Phil Brady maintains the worth of Flushing because Major 
Lawrence hails from there. Paul Haerting and Dryer ex- 
change repartee outside the shrine of St. Libaire, Virgin and 
Martyr, after their soldiers orisons at his tomb. Charles 
Dietrich and Jim Gormley interrupt my broodings over the 
past in the ruins of the amphitheater to ask me news about 
our parish in the Bronx. 

The 2nd and 3rd Battalions are not in such an antique 
setting, but in two villages along the bare hillsides to the 
south of us. It is a good walk to get to them ; but I have 
my reward. When I get to the 2nd Battalion, if the 
men are busy, I drop in on Phil Gargan for a cup of cof- 
fee. I am always reminded of my visits to Ireland by 
the hospitality I encounter — so warm and generous and 
bustling and overwhelming. I get my coffee, too much of 
it, and too sweet, and hot beyond human endurance, and 
food enough offered with it to feed a platoon. And I am 
warm with a glow that no steaming drink could ever pro- 
duce of itself. It is the same wherever I go. For instance 
if my steps lead me to the 3rd Battalion Pat Poland spices 
his coffee with native wit; or if my taste inclines me to tea 
I look up Pat Rogan who could dig up a cup of tea in the 
middle of a polar expedition. 

While I am on the question of eating — always an inter- 
esting topic to a soldier — let me say a word for French 
inns. I came to Grand with Regimental Sergeant Major 
Steinert, ahead of the Regiment in charge of a billetting 


detail, and thus made the acquaintance of the establishment 
of Madame Gerard at the Sign of the Golden Boar. I 
have seen a M. Gerard but, as in all well regulated fam- 
ilies, he is a person with no claim to figure in a story. I am 
in love for the first time, and with Madame Gerard. Cap- 
able and human and merry, used to men and their queer 
irrational unfeminine ways, and quite able to handle them, 
hundreds at a time. A joke, a reprimand, and ever and 
always the final argument of a good meal — easy as easy. 
She reigns in her big kitchen, with its fireplace where the 
wood is carefully managed but still gives heat enough to put 
life and savor into the hanging pots and the sizzling turn- 
spits. Odors of Araby the blest! And she serves her 
meals with the air of a beneficent old Grande Dame of 
the age when hospitality was a test of greatness. Private 
or General — it makes no difference to her. The same food 
and the same price and the same frank motherly humor — 
and they all respond with feelings that are common to all. 
I sit before the kitchen fire while she is at work, and talk 
about the war and religion and our poor soldiers so far 
from their mothers, and the cost of food and the fun you 
can get out of life, and when I get back to my cold room 
I go to bed thinking of how much I have learned, and 
that I can see at last how France has been able to stand 
this war for three and a half years. 

The Colonel's mess is at the Cure's house. It too is a 
pleasant place to be, for the Colonel lays aside his official 
air of severity when he comes to the table, and is his 
genial, lovable self. The Cure dines with us — a stalwart 
mountaineer who keeps a young boar in his back yard as a 
family pet. One would have thought him afraid of noth- 
ing. But courage comes by habit; and I found that the 
Cure had his weak side. His years had not accustomed him 
to the freaks of a drunken man — a testimonial to his parish- 
ioners. We had a cook, an old Irishman, who could give 
a new flavor to nectar on Olympus; that is, if he didn't 
drink too much of it first. But he would, trust Paddy for 


that, even if threatened with Vulcan's fate of being pitched 
out headfirst for his offense. 

One day Tom Heaney and Billy Heam came running for 
me. Paddy on the rampage! The aged bonne in hys- 
terics. The Cure at his wits' end. Come! I went. I 
found Paddy red-eyed and excited, and things in a mess. I 
curtly ordered him into a chair, and sent for Doc. Houghton, 
our mess officer, to do justice. Meanwhile I studied a map 
on the wall, with my back turned to the offender, and 
the following one-sided dialogue ensued — like a telephone 
scene at a play. 

"It's that's making me mad." A pause, 

"I don't like you anyway." A pause. 

"You're no good of a priest. If I was dying I wouldn't"- 
(reconsidering) — "I hope to God when Fm dying I won't 
have to put up with the likes of you." ^ A long pause. 

"I've long had me opinion of you. I'll tell it to you if you 

A pause — with me saying to myself "Now you'll get the 

*T11 tell it to you. I've been wanting to do it time and 
times. . . . You smoke cigarettes with the Officers, that's 
what you do." A sigh of relief, and the thought "I could have 
said more than that myself." 

Then in bursts Colonel Hine and Paddy was hustled away 
for punishment. But I know what will happen. We shall 
eat army food au naturel for a week or so; and some noon 
the meal will be so good that we shall all eat more than is 
good for men with work still to do, and nobody shall ask 
a question about it, for everybody will know that Paddy, 
God bless him! is back on the job once more. Of course 
I have a special liking for him because when he was in a 
mood to denounce me he let me off so light. 


December 25th, 1917 

If there is one day in all the year that wanderers from 

home cannot afford to forget it is Christmas. The Com- 


pany Commanders have had their Mess Sergeants scouring 
the countryside for eatables. 

It was my business to give them a religious celebration 
that they would remember for many a year and that they 
would write about enthusiastically to the folks at home, 
who would be worrying about the lonesome existence of 
their boys in France. The French military authorities and 
the Bishop of the diocese had united in prohibiting Mid- 
night Masses on account of the lights. But General Leni- 
han, the Mayor, and the Cure decided that we were too 
far from the front to worry about that, and it was arranged 
tout de suite. I knew that confessions and communions 
would be literally by the thousands, so with the aid of Joyce 
Kilmer and Frank Driscoll, ex-Jesuit-novice, I got up a 
scheme for confessions of simple sins in English and 
French, and set my French confreres to work; the Cure, 
a priest-sergeant in charge of a wood cutting detail, a 
hrancardicr, and another priest who was an officer of the 
artillery — all on the qui znve about the task. Christmas Eve 
found us all busy until midnight. I asked one of the men 
how he liked the idea of going to confession to a priest 
who cannot speak English. *Tine, Father," he said with a 
grin, **AI1 he could do was give me a penance, but you'd have 
given me hell." Luckily the church was vastly larger than 
the present needs of the town, for everybody, soldiers and 
civilians, came. General Lenihan and Colonel Hine and 
the Brigade and the Regimental Staffs occupied seats in the 
sanctuary which was also crowded with soldiers. The local 
choir sang the Mass and I preached. Our lads sang the 
old hymns, "The Snow Lay on the Ground," 'The Little 
Town of Bethlehem," and all, French and Americans, joined 
in the ancient and hallowed strains of the Adeste Fideles 
until the vaults resounded with Venite Adoremus Domimim. 
It took four priests a long time to give Communion to the 
throng of pious soldiers and I went to bed at 2 :oo A. M. 
happy with the thought that, exiles though we are, we cele- 
brated the old feast in high and holy fashion. 


Christmas afternoon we had general services in the big I 

market shed. The band played the old Christmas airs and 
ever}''body joined in, until the square was ringing with our 
pious songs. 

Everybody had a big Christmas dinner. The Quarter- 
master had sent the substantial basis for it and for extra 
trimmings the Captains bought up everything the country 
afforded. They had ample funds to do it, thanks to our 
Board of Trustees, who had supplied us lavishly with funds. 
The boxes sent through the Women's Auxiliary have not 
yet reached us. It is just as well, for we depart tomorrow 
on a four-day hike over snowy roads and the less we have 
to carry the better. 


January ist, 1918 
I cannot tell just what hard fates this New Year may 
have in store for us, but I am sure that no matter how try- 
ing they may be they will not make us forget the closing 
days of 19 17. We left our villages in the Vosges the morn- 
ing after Christmas Day. From the outset it was evident 
that we were going to be up against a hard task. It 
snowed on Christmas, and the roads we were to take were 
mean country roads over the foothills of the Vosges Moun- 
tains. New mules were sent to us on Christmas Eve. 
They were not shod for winter weather, and many of them 
were absolutely unbroken to harness, the harness provided 
moreover being French and ill-fitting. To get it on the 
mules big Jim Hillery had to throw them first on the stable 

It was everybody's hike, and everybody's purgatory ; but 
to my mind it was in a special way the epic of the supply 
company and the detachments left to help them. Nobody 
ever makes any comment when supplies are on hand on 
time. In modern city life we get into the way of taking 
this for granted, as if food were heaven-sent like manna, 
and we give little thought to the planning and labor it has 


taken to provide us. On a hike the Infantry will get through 
— there is never any doubt of that. They may be foot- 
sore, hungry, broken-backed, frozen, half dead, but they 
will get through. The problem is to get the mules through ; 
and it is an impossible one very often without human intel- 
ligence and human labor. On this hike the marching men 
carried no reserve rations, an inexcusable oversight. No 
village could feed them even if there was money to pay 
for the food ; and the men could not eat till the Company 
wagons arrived with the rations and field ranges. 

The situation for Captain Mangan's braves looked des- 
perate from the start. A mile out of town the wagons were 
all across the road, as the lead teams were not trained to) 
answer the reins. The battle was on. Captain Mangan 
with Lieutenant Kinney, a Past Grand Master when it comes 
to wagon trains, organized their forces. They had experi* 
enced helpers — Sergeant Ferdinando, a former circus man, 
Sergeant Bob Goss and Regimental Supply Sergeant Joe 
Flannery, who will be looking for new wars to go to when 
he is four score and ten. It would be impossible to relate 
in detail the struggles of the next four days; but that 
train got through from day to day only by the fighting 
Spirit of soldiers who seldom have to fire a rifle. Again 
and again they came to hills where every wagon was stalled. 
The best teams had to be unhitched and attached to each 
,vagon separately until the hill was won. Over and over 
the toil-worn men would have to cover the same ground till 
the work was done, and in tough places they had to spend 
their failing strength tugging on a rope or pushing a 
wheel. Wagoners sat on their boxes with hands and feet 
freezing and never uttered a complaint. The wagons were 
full of food but no man asked for a mite of it — they 
were willing to wait till the companies ahead would get their 

The old time men who had learned their business on 
the Border were naturally the best. Harry Horgan, ex- 
<owboy, could get anything out of mules that mules could 


do. Jim Regan, old 1898 man, had his four new mules 
•christened and pulling in answer to their names before 
a greenhorn could gather up the reins. Larkin and young 
Heffernan and Barney Lowe and Tim Coffee were always 
first out and first in, but always found time to come back 
and take the lines for some novice to get his wagon 
through a hard place. Al Richford, Ed Menrose, Gene' 
Mortenson, Willie Pagan, Arthur Nulty, Wagoner Joe Sea- 
griff and good old Pat Prendergast did heroic work. 
"Father" James McMahon made me prouder of my own 
title. Slender Jimmy Benson got every ounce of power out 
of his team without ever forgetting he belonged to the Holy 
Name Society. Sergeant Lacey, Maynooth man and com- 
pany clerk, proved himself a good man in every Irish sense 
of the word. Hillery and Tumulty, horseshoers; Charlesj 
Henning of the commissary, and Joe Healy, cook, made 
themselves mule-skinners once more, and worked with 
energies that never flagged. 

Lieutenant Henry Bootz came along at the rear of the 
Infantry column to pick up stragglers. The tiredest and 
most dispirited got new strength from his strong heart. *T 
think I'm going to die," said one broken lad of eighteen. 
"You can't die without my permission," laughed the big 
Lieutenant. "And I don't intend to give it. I'll take your 
pack, but you'll have to hike." And hike he did for seven 
miles farther that day, and all the way for two days more. 
The first day Bootz threatened to tie stragglers to the 
wagons. The remaining days he took all that could move 
without an ambulance and tied the wagons to them. And 
they had to pull. 

Captain Mangan, the most resourceful of commanders, 
was working in his own way to relieve the strain. One 
day he took possession of a passing car and got to the 
H. Q. of a French Division where the kindly disposed 
French Officers were easily persuaded to sen^d camions to 
carry provisions ahead, to be stored for the troops at the 
terminus of the day's march. Horses were rented from 


the farmers, or, if they were stiff about it, abruptly com- 
mandeered. That wagon train had to get through. 

It got through; but sometimes it was midnight or after 
before it got through; and meanwhile the line companies 
had their own sufferings and sacrifices. They hiked with 
full packs on ill-made and snow-covered roads over hilly 
country. At the end of the march they found themselves 
in villages (four or five of them to the regiment), billetted 
in barns, usually without fire, fuel or food. They huddled 
together for the body warmth, and sought refuge from cold 
and hunger in sleep. When the wagons came in, their food 
supplies were fresh meat and fresh vegetables, all frozen 
through and needing so much time to cook that many of 
the men refused to rise in the night to eat it. Breakfast 
was the one real meal; at midday the mess call blew, but 
there was nothing to eat. 

When they got up in the morning their shoes were frozen 
stiff and they had to burn paper and straw in them before 
they could get them on. Men hiked with frozen feet, with 
shoes so broken that their feet were in the snow; many 
could be seen in wooden sabots or with their feet wrapped 
in burlap. Hands got so cold and frost-bitten that the 
rifles almost dropped from their fingers. Soldiers fell in 
the snow and arose and staggered on and dropped again. 
The strong helped the weak by encouragement, by sharp 
biting words when sympathy would only increase weak- 
ness, and by the practical help of sharing their burdens. 
They got through on spirit. The tasks were impossible 
for mere flesh and blood, but what flesh and blood cannot 
do, spirit can make them do. It was like a battle. We had 
losses as in a battle — men who were carried to hospitals 
because they had kept going long after their normal powers 
were expended. It was a terrible experience. But one 
thing we all feel now — we have not the slightest doubt 
that men who have shown the endurance that these men 
have shown will give a good account of themselves in any 
kind of battle they are put into. 



January loth, 1918 
The Regiment is in five villages south of the old Fortress 
town of Langres in the Haute Marne; Headquarters and 
Supply in Longeau, ist Battalion in Percey, 2nd in Cohons, 
the 3rd in Baissey and the Machine Gun Company in 
Brennes. They are pleasant prosperous little places (in- 
habited by cultivateurs with a sprinkling of bourgeois) the 
red roofs clustering picturesquely along the lower slopes of 
the rolling country. None of them is more than an hour's 
walk from our center at Longeau. The men are mostly in 
the usual hayloft billets, though some companies have 
Adrian barracks where they sleep on board floors. Apart 
from sore feet from that abominable hike, and the suffering 
from cold due to the difficulty of procuring fuel, we are 
fairly comfortable. 

The officers are living in comparative luxury. I am estab- 
lished with a nice sweet elderly lady. I reach the house 
through a court that runs back of a saloon — which leaves 
me open to comments from the ungodly. The house is a 
model of neatness, as Madame is a childless widow, and 
after the manner of such, has espoused herself to her home. 
She is very devout, and glad to have M. I'Aumonier in the 
house, but I am a sore trial to her, as I have a constant run 
of callers, all of them wearing muddy hobnailed brogans. 
She says nothing to me, but I can hear her at all hours of 
the day lecturing little Mac about doors and windows and 
sawdust and dirt. I never hear him say anything in reply, 
except *'Oui, Madame," but somehow he seems to under- 
stand her voluble French and they get along very well to- 
gether. I notice that our lads always strike up a quick 
acquaintance with the motherly French women. They work 
together, cooking at the fireplaces or washing clothes in 
the community fountain, keeping up some sort of friendly 
gossip and laughing all the while, though I never can un- 
derstand how they manage it, for the villagers never learn 


any English and the soldiers have not more than forty words 
of French. After all a language is only a makeshift for 
expressing ourselves. "Qu'est-ce que c'est" — **Kesky," and 
pointing supplies the nouns, gestures the verbs, and facial 
expressions the adjectives. 


January 21st, 1918 
Last night the church bells rang at midnight ; and wak- 
ing, I said : ''Bombers overhead !" A minute later I heard 
the cry Fire! Fire! and the bugles raising the same alarm. 
It was a big stable at the south end of the town — we had 
gasoline stored in it and some soldier was careless. The 
street was thronged in an instant with running soldiers and 
civilians. The village firemen or pompiers came running up 
at a plowman gait — looked the fire over — and went back to 
put on their proper uniforms. One old lad came all the 
way from Percey in a gendarme's chapeau. He could not 
properly try to put out a fire in that headgear, so he went 
all the way back and arrived at last, puffing but satisfied, 
in the big pompier nickel-plated helmet. Their big pump 
was pulled up to Longeau, and the hose was laid with the 
proper amount of ceremony and shouting, and the stream 
finally put on the blazing shed. The remainder of the popu- 
lation displayed little of the proverbial French excitability. 
They looked on with the air of men who can enjoy a good 
spectacle, happy in the thought that the rich American Gov- 
ernment would have to pay for it. 

The soldiers were happy too at having a chance to fight 
something. Colonel Barker gave orders in his quiet way, 
which Captains Anderson and Mangan put into execution. 
The fountain ran out and bucket lines were formed. I am 
afraid that some of the contents instead of getting to the 
fire was dumped on the gaudy uniforms of the funny old 
pompiers, who insisted upon running around giving orders 
that nobody could understand. This is the second French 


fire we have witnessed and the general verdict is that our 
moving picture people have missed the funniest unstudied 
episode left in the world by not putting a French village 
fire department on, the screen. It was a good show in 
every way — but incidentally the building was a total loss. 


January 2 sth, 191 8 
I walked over to Cohons today and dropped in on Com- 
pany H. Instead of having to make my visit through the 
scattered billets that line the entrance to the valley I found 
what looked like the whole Company along the roadside in 
vehemently gesticulating groups. I hurried to find what 
the trouble might be. "What's the matter here/* I asked. 
Val Dowling, the supply Sergeant, picked a uniform out 
of a pile and held it up. "Look at the damn thing? Ex- 
cuse me, Father, but you'll say as bad when you look at it. 
They want us to wear this." He held it out as if it had con- 
tagion in it, and I saw it was a British tunic, brass buttons 
and all. I disappointed my audience^ — I didn't swear out 
loud. "Got nice shiny buttons," I said. "What's the mat- 
ter with it?" What was the matter with it? Did I know 
it was a British uniform? Frank McGlynn of Manhattan 
and Bill McGorry of Long Island City were as hot as Bill 
Fleming or Pat Travers or Chris O'Keefe or William 
Smythe. "They look a little betther this way," said John 
Thornton, holding up one with the buttons clipped off. 
"That's all right," I said, "but don't get yourselves into 
trouble destroying government property." Throuble," said 
Martin Higgins. "What the blazes do they mane by in- 
sultin' min fightin' for thim like this. I'd stand hangin' 
rather than put wan of thim rags on me back." 

I went home in a black mood, all the blacker because I 
did not want to say what I felt before the men ; and when 
I got to mess I found Lawrence, Anderson and Mangan and 
young McKenna as sore as myself. We all exploded to- 


gather, and Colonel Barker, at first mildly interested, seemed 
to get worried. **Well," he said, "at least they wouldn't 
object if they had to wear English shoes, would they?" 
^ **No," I said. ^They'd have the satisfaction of stamping 
on them." The laugh at my poor joke ended the discussion, 
but I waited after supper to talk with Colonel Barker. 
I didn't want him worried about us, and he naturally 
couldn't know; but I felt he could appreciate our attitude 
from his own very strong anti-German feelings. "Colonel," 
I said. "We do not want you to feel that you have a regi- 
ment of divided loyalty or dubious reliability on your 
hands. We are all volunteers for this war. If you put 
our fellows in line alongside a bunch of Tommies, they 
would only fight the harder to show the English who are 
the better men, though I would not guarantee that there 
: would not be an occasional row in a rest camp if we were 
billeted with them. There are soldiers with us who left 
Ireland to avoid service in the British Army. But as soon 
I as we got into the war, these men, though not yet citizens, 
\ volunteered to fight under the Stars and Stripes. 

"We have our racial feelings, but these do not affect our 
\ loyalty to the United States. You can understand it. There 
i were times during the past two years when if England had 
not restrained her John Bull tendencies on the sea we might 
have gotten into a series of difficulties that would have led to 
a war with her. In that case Germany would have been 
the Ally. You are a soldier, and you would have fought, 
suppressing your own dislike for that Ally. But supposing 
ill the course of the war we were short of tin hats and 
they asked you to put on one of those Boche helmets?" 

The Colonel whacked the table, stung to sudden anger at 
the picture. Then he laughed, "You have a convincing way 
Df putting things, Father. I'll see that they clothe my men 
lereafter in American uniforms." 

And though, as I found later, many of the offensive 
-ini forms had been torn to ribbons by the men, nobody 


ever made any inquiry about "destruction of government 


February 2nd, 191 8 
I usually manage to get to two different towns for my 
Church services Sunday mornings. General Lenihan al- 
ways picks me up in his machine and goes with me to my 
early service, at which he acts as acolyte for the Mass, a 
duty which he performs with the correctness of a sem- 
inarian, enhanced by his fine soldierly face and bearing 
and his crown of white hair. The men are deeply im- 
pressed by it, and there are few letters that go home that 
do not speak of it. He brought me back from Cohons this 
morning and dropped me off at Percey, where I had a later 
Mass. These French villagers are different from our own 
home folks in that they want long services; they seem to 
feel that their locality is made little of, if they do not 
have everything that city churches can boast, and I some- 
times think, a few extras that local tradition calls for. It 
is hard on me, for I am a Low Church kind of Catholic 
myself; and besides ''soldier's orisons" are traditionally 
short ones. The only consolation I have here in Percey is 
that the old septuagenarian who leads the service for the 
people sings in such a way that I can render thanks to 
Heaven that at last it has been given to my ears to hear 
raised in that sacred place the one voice I have ever heard 
that is worse than my own. 

I called on Donovan this evening and found him sitting 
in a big, chilly chamber in the old chateau in front of a 
fire that refused to burn. He had had a hard day and was 
still busy with orders for the comfort of men and animals. 
''Father," he said, "I have just been thinking that whatf 
hovelists call romance is only what men's memories hold I 
of the past, with all actual realization of the discomfort 
left out, and only the dangers past and difficulties cor. 
qucred remaining in imagination. What difference is thei . 


between us and the fellow who has landed at the Chateau 
in Stanley Weyman or Robert Stevenson's interesting 
stories; who has come in after a hard ride and is giving 
orders for the baiting of his horse or the feeding of his 
retinue, as he sits, with his jackboots pulled down, before 
•the unwilling fire and snuffs the candle to get sufficient light 
to read his orders for the next day's march/' I get much 
comfort from the Major's monologue. It supplies an ex- 
cellent romantic philosophy with which to face the sordid 
discomforts which are the most trying part of war. 


February 8th, 191 8 
Over today and dined at Hurley's mess. Pat Dowling 
told of a rather mysterious thing that happened to him while 
he was a Sergeant in the regular army. He was sent from 
one post to another, a distance of two hundred miles, with 
a sealed letter which he delivered to the Commanding Of- 
ficer, who opened it, read it, and said : ^'Sergeant, you will 
return to your own post .immediately.*' '*I have often 
wondered," said Pat, "what could have been in that letter." 
"I can tell you," said Tom Martin, in his quiet way. "Well, 
what was in it?" "That letter read, 'If you like the looks 
of this man, keep him.* ** 


February loth, 1918 
The Regiment has made huge progress in military mat- 
ters during the past month. I go over to Cohons and the 
new French Chauchat automatics are barking merrily at 
tlie hill that climbs from the road. At Percey I see our 
erstwhile baseball artists learning an English overhead bowl- 
ing delivery for hurling hand grenades at a pit, where they 
explode noisily and harmlessly. At Baissey Major Moyna- 
han walks me up the steep hill to show me his beautiful sys- 
tem of trenches, though I see no reflection of his enthusiasm 


in the faces of Jerry Sheehan or Jim Sullivan — they had the 
hard job of helping to dig them. West of the town against 
the steep base of the highest hill Lieutenants O'Brien and 
Cunningham with the 2i7 "^"^- ^^ one-pound cannon, and 
Lieutenants Walsh and Keveny with the Stokes mortars 
are destroying the fair face of nature. Vociferous young 
Lieutenants are urging the men to put snap into their 
bayonet lunges at stuffed mannikins. 

I had a little clash of my own with some of these en- 
thusiastic youngsters early in the game. In the British 
school of the bayonet they teach that the men ought to 
be made to curse while doing these exercises. I see neither 
grace nor sense in it. If a man swears in the heat of a 
battle I don't even say that God will forgive it; I don't 
believe He would notice it. But this organized blasphemy 
is an offense. And it is a farce — a bit of Cockney Drill 
Sergeant blugginess to conceal their lack of better qualities. 
If they used more brains in their fighting and less blood and 
guts they would be further on than they are. Our fellows 
will do more in battle by keeping their heads and using the 
natural cool courage they have than by working themselves 
up into a fictitious rage to hide their fears. 

Latterly we have had the excellent services of a Bat- 
talion of French Infantry to help us in our training. They 
have been through the whole bloody business and wear that 
surest proof of prowess, the Fourragere. I asked some of 
the old timers amongst them how much use they had made 
of the bayonet. They all said that they had never seen 
case when one line of bayonets met another. Sometimes 
they were used in jumping into a trench, but generally 
when it came to bayonets one side was running away. 

The *'Y" is on the job and has some sort of place in each 
town. With me is Percy Atkins, a good man with only one 
fault — he is working himself to death in spite of my trying 
to boss him into taking care of himself. 

We have suffered a real pang in the transfer of Colond 
Hine to the Railway Service. It gives a foretaste of wha<H 


we are to be up against in this war. There is evidently to 
be no regard for feehngs or established relations of de- 
pendency or intimacy, but just put men in where they will 
be considered to fit best. I was ready for that after the 
battles began, but it is starting already. First Reed, now 
nine. I shall miss Colonel Hine very much — a courteous 
gentleman, a thorough soldier, a good friend. He w^as a 
railroad man for many years and they say he is needed 
there. God prosper him always wherever he goes. 

His successor was picked by General Pershing from his 
own staff : Colonel John W. Barker, a West Pointer, who 
had seen muth service and had been on duty in France 
since the beginning of the war. He is a manly man, strong 
of face, silent of speech, and courteous of manner. We 
have learned to like him alreadyT— we always like a good 
soldier. We are also beginning to get some real training, 
as the weather is more favorable and our officers are getting 
back from school. 



March ist, 191 8 
The trenches at last! We have all read descriptions 
of them and so had our preconceived notions. The novelty 
is that we are in a thick woods. You go out from Luneville 
(where we have been having the unwonted joys of city life 
for a week or so) along the flat valley of the Vesouze 
to Croixmare, and east to Camp New York, where some 
Adrian barracks, floating like Noah's Arks in a sea of mud, 
house the battaHon in reserve ; then up a good military road 
through the Forest of Parroy to Arbre Haut, where a 
deep dugout forty feet underground shehers the Colonel 
and his headquarters. A mile further on, at Rouge Bou- 
quet, one arrives at a Battalion Post of Command dugout 
now occupied by Major Donovan, Lieutenants Ames, Irving, 
Lacey and Captain Mercier, an energetic, capable and agree- 
able officer of the French Mission. Duck-board paths 
lead in various directions through peaceful looking woods 
to a sinuous line of trenches which were, when we arrived 
in them, in considerable need of repair. Company D, under 
Captain McKenna, had the honor of being first in the lines. 
They were followed by Companies B and A, Company C 
being in support. Off duty the men live in mean little 
dugouts thinly roofed, poorly floored, wet and cold. But 
they are happy at being on the front at last, and look on 
the discomforts as part of the game. Their only kick is 
that it is too quiet. Their main sport is going out on patrol 
by night or day to scout through '*No Man's Land," to 



I cut wires, and stir things up generally. With our artillery 
\ throwing over shells from the rear and our impatient in- 
' fantry prodding the enemy, this sector will not be long 
a quiet one. 


March loth, 19 18 
We have had our first big blow, and we are still reeling 
, under the pain and sorrow of it. Our ist Battahon left 
the trenches with few casualties to pay for their ten days of 
continuous work at trench and wire mending and night 
patrols. Arthur Trayer and John Lyons of Company D 
were the first to gain their wound chevrons. On March 
5th the 2nd Battalion began to move company by company 
, from Camp New York. I spent the afternoon before with 
i each unit attending to their spiritual needs, and ending 
i the day with a satisfactory feeling of having left nothing 
[undone. I was with Company E on March 6th and w^ill 
i always retain a recollection of certain youngsters who stayed 
( for a little friendly personal chat after confession, like 
Arthur Hegney, Eddie Kelly, Steve Navin, Arthur Christ- 
fully, George Adkins, Phil Finn; while Steve Derrig and 
Michael Ahearn with Bailey, Halligan and McKiernan 
? were rounding up the bunch to keep me going. 
I The Company went out in the early morning of March 
[7th to relieve Company A, and soon had the position taken 
I 'over. About 4 P. M. the enemy began a terrific shelling 
^with heavy minenwerfers on the position at Rocroi. The 
big awkward wabbling aerial torpedoes began coming over, 
teach making a tremendous hole where it hit and sending 
f up clouds of earth and showers of stone. Lieutenant Nor- 
man, an old Regular Army man, was in charge of the 
platoon, and after seeing that his guards and outposts 
were in position, ordered the rest of the men into the dug- 
outs. While he was in the smaller one a torpedo struck 
it fair and destroyed it, burying the two signal men from 
Headquarters Company, Arthur Hegney and Edward 
Kearney. The Lieutenant barely managed to extricate him- 


self from the debris and set himself to look after the rest 
of his men. He was inspecting the larger dugout alongside 
when another huge shell came over, buried itself in the 
very top of the cave and exploded, rending the earth from 
the supporting beams and filling the whole living space and 
entrance with rocks and clay, burying the Lieutenant and 
twenty-four men. 

Major Donovan of the ist Battalion was at the Battalion 
P. C. with Major Stacom when the bombardment began. 
As there were six positions to defend and the shelling 
might mean an attack anywhere along the whole line, the 
Battalion Commander's duty was to remain at the middle 
of the web with his reserves at hand to control the whole 
situation. So Major Donovan requested that as he had no 
general responsibilities for the situation he might be per- 
mitted to go down to Rocroi and see what he could do there. | 
Stacom was unwilling to have anybody else run a risk| 
that he was not permitted to share himself, but he gave his 

Major Donovan found the men in line contending with a 
desperate condition. The trenches were in places levelled 
by the bombardment and though the enemy were no longer 
hurling their big torpedoes they kept up a violent artillery 
attack on the position. The only answer that we could 
make to this was from the trench mortars which were 
kept going steadily by Lieutenants Walsh and F. Me- 
Namara, Corporal Cudmore, William Murphy, Wisner. 
Young, Harvey, P. Garvey, Herbert Shannon, F. Garvey 
DeNair, Robertson and the one pounders under Lieutenant 
Cunningham, Sergeants J. J. Ryan and Willermin. On« 
of their guns was blown clean out of its position. 

Corporal Helmer with Privates Raymond, McKenzie 
Cohen, McCormack, O'Meara and Smeltzer were savec 
from the dugout and immediately began to work for thi 
rescue of the others, aided by ist Sergeant Bailey, Sergeant 
William Kelly and Andrew Callahan, Corporals Bernar( 
Kelly and William Halligan with John Cronin, Thoma 


f' Murray, James Joyce and John Cowie. They knew that 
i many of their comrades were dead already but the voices 
i could still be heard as the yet standing timbers kept the 
I earth from filling the whole grade. The rescuers were aided 
^'by Lieutenant Buck and three sergeants of Company A, 
who had remained until the newly arrived company had 
learned its way about the sector. These were Sergeants 
William Moore, Daniel O'Connell and Spencer Rbssel. 
Sergeant Abram Blaustein also hastened up with the pioneer 
I section, Mackay, Taggart, Schwartz, Adair, Heins, Quinn, 
I LaClair, Dunn, Gillman and the rest. 
j Major Donovan found them working like mad in an 
[entirely exposed position to liberate the men underneath. 
A real soldier's first thought will always be the holding of 
his position, so the Major quickly saw to it that the defense 
was properly organized. Little Eddie Kelly, a seventeen- 
year-old boy, was one of the coolest men in sight, and he 
flushed with pleasure when told that he was to have a 
place of honor and danger on guard. The work of rescue 
was kept going with desperate energy, although there was 
but little hope that any more could be saved, as the softened 
earth kept slipping down, and it was impossible to make a 
firm passageway. The Engineers were also sent for and 
w orked through the night to get out bodies for burial but 
with only partial success. Meanwhile the defenders of the 

• trench had to stand a continuous shelling in which little 
Kelly was killed, Stephen Navin and Stephen Derrig were 
seriously wounded, and Sergeant Kahn, Corporal Smeltzer 

tand Privates Bowler and Dougherty slightly. 
The French military authorities conferred a number of 
.Croix de Guerre, giving a Corps citation to Corporal Hel- 
: mer for working to save his comrades after having been 
buried himself, ''giving a very fine example of conscience, 

• devotion and courage." Division citations went to Major 
. Donovan, "superior officer who has shown brilliant military 

quaHties notably on the /th and 8th of March, 191 8, by 
giving during the course of a violent bombardment an exam- 


pie of bravery, activity and remarkable presence of mind'* ; 
and to Private James Quigley, who ''carried two wounded 
men to first aid station under a violent bombardment and 
worked all night trying to remove his comrades buried 
under a destroyed dugout.'* Regimental citations were 
given to Lieutenant John Norman, Lieutenants Oscar Buck 
and W. Arthur Cunningham, Sergeant William Bailey and 
Carl Kahn of Company E, Sergeants William J. Moore, 
Daniel O'Connell and Spencer T. Rossell of Company A, 
Sergeants Blaustein and Private Charles Jones of H. Q. 

The bodies of Eddie Kelly and Oscar Ammon of Com- 
pany F, who was also killed during that night, with those 
that could be gotten from the dugout were buried in Croix- 
mare in a plot selected for the purpose near a roadside 
Calvary which, from the trees surrounding it, was calle(^ 
the "Croix de L'Arbre Vert" or "Green Tree Cross." The 
others we left where they fell. Over the ruined dugout 
we erected a marble tablet with the inscription, "Here on 
the field of honor rest" — and their names. 

Company E held those broken trenches with their dead 
lying there all of that week and Company L during the 
week following. Following is a full list of the dead: 
Lieutenant John Norman, Corporal Edward Sullivan, 
George Adkins, Michael Ahearn, Patrick Britt, Arthur 
Christfully, William Drain, William Ellinger, Philip S. 
Finn, Michael Galvin, John J. Haspel, Edward J. Kelly, 
James B. Kennedy, Peter Laffey, John J. Le Gall, Charles 
T. Luginsland, Frank Meagher, William A. Moylan, Wil- 
liam H. Sage and Robert Snyder of Company E; Arthur V. 
Hegney and Edward J. Kearney of Headquarters Company 
and Oscar Ammon of Company F. 


March 12th, 19 18 

We have given up hope of getting our dead out of Roc 

roi— it would be a task for the Engineers, and it woul 


probably mean the loss of many more live^ to accomplisK 
it. Joyce Kilmer's fine instincts have given us a juster 
view of the propriety of letting them rest where they fell. 
So I went out today to read the services of the dead and 
bless their tomb. Company L is in that position now, and 
they too have been subjected to a fierce attack in which 
Lieutenant Booth was wounded. He and Lieutenant Baker 
and Corporal Lawrence Spencer are in for a Croix de 
Guerre for courage in action. Today there was a lot of 
sniping going on, so Sergeant John Donoghue and Ser- 
geant Bill Sheahan wanted to go out to the position with 
me. They are two of the finest lads that Ireland has given 
us, full of faith and loyalty, and they had it in mind, I 
know, to stand each side of me and shield me from harm 
with their bodies. Val Roesel, Bert Landzert and Martin 
Coneys also insisted that they would make good acolytes for 
me. But I selected the littlest one in the crowd, Johnny 
McSherry ; and little Jack trotted along the trench in front 
of me with his head erect while I had to bend my long 
back to keep my head out of harm's way. We came on 
Larry Spencer in an outpost position contemplating his 
tin hat with a smile of satisfaction. It had a deep dent 
in it where a bullet had hit it and then deflected — a, fine 

We finished our services at the grave and returned. I 
lingered a while with Spencer, a youth of remarkable 
elevation of character — it is a good thing for a Chaplain 
to have somebody to look up to. Back in the woods I 
met two new Lieutenants, Bernard Shanley and Edward 
Sheffler. Shanley is from the Old Sod. Sheffler is a Chi- 
cagoan of Polish decent, a most likable youth. I gave them 
a good start on their careers as warriors by hearing their 

That reminded me that I had some neglected parishioners 
in Company I, so I went over their set of trenches. Around 
the P. C. it looks like pictures of the houses of wattles and 
clay that represent the architecture of Early Britain. Met 


Harry Adikes and Ed Battersby and found them easy vic- 
tims when I talked confession. Where do the Irish get 
such names ? Ask Wilton Wharton what his ancestors were 
and he will say "Irish" ; so will Bob Cousens and Bill Cuffe, 
Eddie Willett, Jim Peel or Jim Vail. Charlie Cooper is half 
way to being Irish now, and he will be all Irish if he gets 
a girl I know. I know how Charlie Garret is Irish, — for 
he comes from my neighborhood, and if it were the custom 
to adopt the mother's name in a family he would be Charles 
Ryan. The same custom would let anybody know without 
his teUing it, as he does with his chest out, that George Van 
Pelt is Irish too. I saw one swarthy fellow with MIKE 
KELLEY in black letters on his gas mask, but on asking him 
I found that he was Irish only by abbreviation, as he was 
christened Michael Keleshian. Tommy O'Brien made him- 
self my guide and acolyte for my holy errand ; and he first 
took me on a tour amongst the supply sergeants and cooks 
for he wanted us both well looked after. So when we had 
gotten Eddie Joyce, Pat Rogan, Michael O'Brien, Tom 
Loftus and Joe Callahan in proper Christian condition for 
war or hospitality, we sallied forth around the trenches. 

Religion in the trenches has no aid from pealing organ or 
stained glass windows, but it is a real and vital thing at 
that. The ancestors of most of us kept their religious 
life burning brightly as they stole to the proscribed Mass in 
a secluded glen, or told their beads by a turf fire ; and I find 
that religion thrives today in a trench with the diapason of 
bursting shells for an organ. I had a word or two for every 
man and they were glad to get it ; and the consolations of the 
old faith for those that were looking for it. It makes a 
man feel better about the world and God, and the kind of 
people he has put into it to know in conditions like these 
such men as Bill Beyer, Fordham College Man; Pat Car- 
roll, Chauflfeur; Tom Brennan, Patrick Collins, whom I am 
just beginning to know and to like; Bill Dynan, whom I 
have known and liked for a long time; manly Pat Hackett 
and athletic Pat Flynn, solid non-coms like Ford, Hen- 


nessey, McDermott, Murphy, Denis Hogan, Michael Jor- 
dan, Hugh McFadden, not to mention the old Roman ist 
Sergeant Patrick McMinaman. It was the vogiie at one 
time to say with an air of contempt that reHgion is a 
woman's affair. I would like to have such people come up 
here — if they dared: and say the same thing to the soldiers 
of this Company or of this Regiment — if they dared. 

The last outpost was an interesting one. It did not exist 
when I was in these parts with the 2nd Battalion, as our 
friends on the other side had not yet built it for us. But 
recently they have sent over one of their G. I. cans (that, 
dear reader, means galvanized iron can, which are as big as 
a barrel, and which tells the story of what a minenwerfer 
torpedo shell looks like when it is coming toward you) and 
the G. I. Can made a hole like the excavation of a small 
cottage. In it I found four or five of Company I snugly 
settled down and very content at being that much closer 
to the enemy. Here I met for the first time Ed. Shanahan, a 
fine big fellow who ought to make good with us, and 
Charlie Stone, whose mother was the last to say good-bye to 
me as we left Camp Mills. Mess came up while we were 
there and we did justice to it sitting on clumps of soft earth 
whicli had been rolled into round snowballs by the ex- 
plosion — and chatting about New York. 

ST. Patrick's day in the trenches 

Sunday, March 17th 191 8 
What a day this would have been for us if we were back 
in New York ! Up the Avenue to St. Patrick's Cathedral in 
the morning, and the big organ booming out the old Irish 
airs and the venerable old Cardinal uttering words of bless- 
ing and encouragement. And in the afternoon out on 
parade with the Irish Societies with the band playing Garry 
Owen and Let Erin Remember and O'Donnell Aboo, as we 
pass through the cheering crowds. And how they would 


shout in this year of Grace 1918 if we could be suddenly 
transported to New York's Avenue of triumph. But I am 
glad we are not there. For more than seventy years the 
old Regiment has marched up the Avenue in Church parade 
on St. Patrick's Day. But never, thank God, when the 
country was at war. Other New Yorkers may see the 
Spring sweeping through the Carolinas or stealing timidly 
up the cliffs of the Hudson or along the dented shores of 
Long Island ; but there is only one place in the world where 
the old Irish Regiment has any right to celebrate it, and 
that is on the battle line. 

The 3rd Battalion is in the trenches, so I went up yes- 
terday and spent the night with Major Moynahan, who 
gave me a true Irish welcome. He and Leslie have made 
good Irishmen out of Lieutenants Rerat ajid Jackson and 
we had a pleasant party. 

We had not a Cathedral for our St. Patrick's day Mass 
but Lieutenant Austin Lawrence had Jim McCormack and 
George Daly of the Medicos pick out a spot for me among 
the trees to conceal my bright vestments from observation 
and the men who were free slipped up the boyaus from the 
nearby trenches for the services. 

Later in the morning I said Mass back at Camp New 
York for the 2nd Battalion in a grove of young birch 
trees on the hill slope, the men being scattered singly over 
the slope and holding very still when the bugler sounded 
the alert for an enemy aeroplane over head. I described 
former St. Patrick days to them and told them they were 
better here. New York would talk more of them, think 
more of them than if they were back there. Every man in 
the town would be saying he wished he were here and 
every man worth his salt would mean it. The leading men 
of our country had called us to fight for human liberty and 
the rights of small nations, and if we rallied to that noble 
cause we would establish a claim on our own country and 
on humanity in favor of the dear land from which so 
many of us had sprung, and which all of us loved. \ 


In the afternoon we had a fine concert under the trees. 
Sergeants Frye and Tom Donahoe played for Tommy Mc- 
Cardle's funny songs, and for John Mullin's serious ones. 
McManus and Quinn played the fife for Irish dances, and 
Lieutenant Prout, by special request, recited John Locke's 
poem, "Oh Ireland, I Bid You the Top of the Mom- 

In the middle of the concert I read Joyce Kilmer's noble 
poem, ''Rouge Bouquet." The last lines of each verse are 
written to respond to the notes of 'Taps," the bugle call 
for the end of the day which is also blown ere the last sods 
are dropped on the graves of the dead. Sergeant Patrick 
Stokes stood near me with his horn and blew the tender 
plaintive notes before I read the words; and then from the 
deep woods where Egan was stationed came a repetition 
of the notes "like horns from elfland faintly blowing." 
Before I had finished tears had started in many an eye espe- 
cially amongst the lads of Company E. I had known it was 
going to be a sad moment for all, and had directed the band 
to follow me up with a medley of rollicking Irish airs ; just 
as in military funerals the band leads the march to the 
grave in solemn cadence and departs playing a lively tune. 
It is the only spirit for warriors with battles yet to fight. 
We can pay tribute to our dead but we must not lament for 
them overmuch. 


March i8th, 1918 
I buried a soldier of the 117th Signal Battalion in Croix- 
mare today with unusual honors. Private Wilkerson had 
been killed in action and as he was a Catholic Major Gar- 
rett had asked me to perform the ceremony. The French 
were most kind in participating, but that is no new thing. 
Colonel Dussauge always has his Chasseurs take part with 
us in funerals, though it is a distraction to me to see therti 
trying to accommodate their short choppy gait ("like sol- 
diers in the Movies" according to Bandsman McGregor) 


to the air of a Dead March. I said to the Colonel : "There 
is one thing your men can't do." "What is that?" "Walk 
to a funeral march." "Thank you for the compliment, 
Monsieur I'Aumonier." The Cure, too, always came 
to our funerals. And we had a fine grizzled old Oblate 
Division Chaplain who has been in all the French wars from 
Madagascar to Tonquin. The Government tried to put him 
out of France when the law against Religious was passed, 
but he refused to go, saying he would live his life in 
France if he had to live it in jail. I met a number of 
these religious in the army, most of them returned from ex- 
ile to offer their lives in defense of their country. If the 
French Government puts them out after the war is over 
they will deserve the scorn and enmity of mankind as a 
rotten set of ingrates. 

At the grave we found we had other spectators. I saw 
Ceneral Menoher and General Lenihan with a short spare- 
built civilian whom I took for a reporter. He had a French 
gas mask with a long tape, w^hich hung down between his 
legs like a Highlander's sporran. There were Moving Pic- 
ture cameras too, which seemed to spell a Presence. I 
whispered to the old Cure that his picture would be put on 
the screen in every town in America, at which he was, I 
could see, somewhat shocked and altogether pleased. After 
the ceremony a number of the Signal Battalion took advan- 
tage of the opportunity to go to confession ; and I was stand- 
ing by the side of a truck performing my pious duties when 
General Lenihan approached with the slim reporter. They 
did not intrude, so I missed my chance of making the 
acquaintance of the energetic Newton W. Baker, Secretary 
of War of the United States. 


March 21st, 1918 

For the past twelve days volunteers from the ist Battalion 

have been preparing, under command of Lieutenants Henry 


A. Bootz and Raymond H. Newton, for a coup de main 
in connection with the 41st Battalion of Chasseurs. They 
have been training with the French at Croixmare and I find 
it interesting to watch them. They go through all sorts 
of athletic stunts to get into perfect condition, study the 
ground through maps on the blackboard showing just what 
each man's position is to be, and then work out the whole 
thing over a ground which is very much like the Ouvrage 
Blanc, where the raid will take place. 

Last Saturday afternoon, after I had been hearing con- 
fessions amongst them, four or five of the Irish lads waited 
to see me. I went for a walk with them around an old 
moat and as we stood looking at a stone tablet that com- 
memorated the victory of some Duke of Lorraine over a 
Duke of Burgundy four hundred years ago, Billy Elwood 
put the question, ''Father, do you think we'll be afraid?" 
*'Not you," I said, "not a bit of it. You may feel rather 
tight across the chest for the five minutes before you tear 
into it, but when you get going you'll forget even that, be- 
cause your blood will be up." "I believe you," he said. 
*'0f course you know none of us are afraid and we are all 
anxious to have a try at it, but it's our first time in a thing 
of this sort and the only worry we have is that something 
might go wrong inside of us and spoil the good name of the 

Before the raid started there was an amusing little inter- 
lude. Corporal Bob Foster of Company D had a little Irish 
flag given to him by Sergeant Evers of the Band, and the 
lads were determined that that flag would go over the top in 
the first organized attack made by the regiment. A young 
officer, not of our Division, who had been sent as an ob- 
server, saw the flag stuck at the top of Foster's rifle and felt 
it his duty to protest against it. After a short parley Bootz 
demanded, **What are you here for, anyway." "I'm an 
observer," was the response. "Then climb a tree and ob- 
serve, and let me run tliis raid." 

Our artillery was busy bombarding the position that was 


to be the object of assault and at 7:35 P. M. the men 
went out through our wires under cover of darkness and 
took up their position near the chicanes (passages) in the 
enemy wire, which had been reconnoitered the night be- 
fore. Our artillery laid down a barrage at 7 :5o for a space 
of three minutes upon which the front line advanced and 
got possession of the German trenches without opposition, 
as the Germans had evacuated them during the heavy bom- 
bardment of the past two days. They were just in time in 
reaching shelter for the German artillery began to shell 
their own abandoned line most vigorously. The trouble 
about this attack was that our own artillery preparation had 
been too good. The Germans could not help inferring 
that this point was to be made the object of an assault, so 
they drew back and waited until the infantry had reached 
the position. Then they turned on them the full force of 
artillery and machine gun fire from positions further back, 
leaving to the assaulters the choice between getting back to 
their own lines, or attacking an unknown and well defended 
position in the dark. The French Officer in charge gave 
the order to retire. During this period Edward Maher of 
Company B must have been killed because no word of him 
was ever received. Corporal William Elwood and Joseph 
JMiller of Company C were fatally wounded. Badly 
wounded were Sergeants John F. Scully, Fred Almendinger 
and Martin Gill of Company A and Patrick Grogan of 
Company D. After getting back to the French trenches 
Bootz and Newton repeatedly led parties back over the shell- 
swept area to search for Maher, and to see if the Germans 
had reoccupied their trenches. On this mission Thomas P. 
Minogue of Company B was killed. Lieutenant Newton 
carried in one French soldier and Private Plant carried in 
another. Lieutenant Bootz, with Corporal Joseph Pettit 
of Company C, helped Sergeant Scully to the lines, and 
going out again, they found Joe Miller, his right leg ampu- 
tated by a shell. Miller was a big man but Bootz swung 


him up on his back and with Pettit assisting, carried him 
back into the Hnes. 

The following officers and men taking part in this coup 
de main were decorated by the French authorities on March 
22nd at Croixmare: Division Citations, First Lieutenant 
Henry A. Bootz, Second Lieutenant Raymond H. Newton, 
Private Marlow Plant ; Regimental Citations : Company A, 
Joseph C. Pettit, Frank J. Fisher, Privates George Mc- 
Carthy, Bernard McOwen, Michael Morley, Sergeant John 
Scully; Company B, Sergeants Spiros Thomas, Christian 
Biomdall, Corporal William F. Judge, Privates Frank 
Brandreth, Vincent J. Eckas, Daniel J. Finnegan ; Company 
C, Sergeant Eugene A. McNiff, Corporal Herman E. Hillig, 
Privates Bernard Barry, Michael Cooney, James Barry, 
John J. Brawley, Joseph A. Miller; Company D, Sergeant 
Thomas M. O'Malley, Corporal Thomas H. Brown, Pri- 
vates Denis O'Connor, Patrick Grogan, John Cahill, Harry 
H. DeVoe. 

Of the wounded, Elwood died shortly after being brought 
to the Hospital at Luneville and Joe Miller succumbed the 
next day after sufferings borne with a fortitude that begot 
the admiration of nurses and doctors used to dealing with 
courageous men. The others are wounded badly enough 
but they will recover. Almendinger, who describes him- 
self as **half Boche and half County Kilkenny," was going 
off to the operating ward to have his wounded eye re- 
moved when I saw him the second time. "Never mind 
about that, Fred," I said, *'Uncle Sam will look after you." 
"I'm not thinking about Uncle Sam at all. There's a girl 
back in New York who doesn't care whether I have one 
eye or two. so I should worry." 


March 20th and 21st, 1918 
But meanwhile there had been other happenings in the 
sector which quite overshadowed the ist Battalion raid. 


Company K went into the line in the Rouge Bouquet 
Sector on March 12th, 1918, relieving Company H. The 
Company Headquarters were at Chaussailles, and the two 
platoons in the front line were : on the right, at Changar- 
nier (C. R. i), one platoon; in the center at C. R. 2 a 
half platoon; and on the left at Chevert (C. R. 3) a half 

There were no casualties for the first eight days except 
that John Ring received a bullet in the arm. Our patrols 
did not come into contact with the Boches (who apparently 
never left their lines) and except a few minenwerfer and 
some shelling with 77's the sector was quiet, the weather 
was fine, and every one spoke of the tour at the front as a 

About 5 130 on the evening of the 20th the Boches sud- 
denly began to bombard the entire company sector, from a 
line not far from their own trenches to a line several hun- 
dred yards in the rear of Company Headquarters, with 
mustard gas shells and shrapnel, the heaviest bombardment 
being in the vicinity of C. R. 2, where Sergeant Frank 
Doughney was in command, of C. R. 3, where Lieutenant 
Bill Crane was in command, and at the first aid station, 
where Lieutenant Patten and his group were quartered, 
together with the fourth platoon under Lieutenant Levi. 
This bombardment lasted about three hours. 

The groups stationed at the outposts were caught on 
their way in, the two groups under Corporals Caulfield and 
Joe Farrell being led by Corporal Farrell into an incom- 
plete dugout about 300 yards in front of our lines, the other 
two going directly in. 

The second platoon, under Lieutenant Bowling in Chan- 
gamier, were not so heavily shelled and being on higher 
ground, were not gassed so badly as the others. 

In C. R. 2, Harry McCoun was struck by a shell which 
carried away his left hand. He held up the stump and 
shouted, **Well, boys, there goes my left wing." Sergeant 
Jack Ross and Private Ted Van Yorx led him under heavy] 


fire back to the first aid station, where Doctor Patten 
tore off his mask to operate on him (for which he earned 
the Croix de Guerre), but McCoun died the next morn- 

In C. R. 3, Lieutenant Crane walked from one post to 
the other in the midst of the heaviest bombardment in order 
to encourage the men. In the midst of this bombardment, 
several of the runners, including particularly Privates Ed 
Rooney and Ray Staber, distinguished themselves by their 
courage and coolness in carrying messages between Com- 
pany headquarters and the front line. 

The men were prompt in putting on their masks as soon 
as the presence of gas was recognized, but it was found 
impossible to keep them on indefinitely and at the same 
time keep up the defense of the sector. Immediately after 
the bombardment, the entire company area reeked with the 
odor of mustard gas and this condition lasted for sev- 
eral days. It had been raining heavily the night before, and 
there was no breeze whatever. 

By about midnight some of the men were sick as a result 
of the gas, and as the night wore on, one after another they 
began to feel its effects on their eyes, to cry, and gradually 
to go blind, so that by dawn a considerable number from 
I the front line had been led all the way back and were sitting 
by the Luneville road, completely blinded, and waiting their 
turn at an ambulance, and the third platoon were unable 
to furnish enough men to man all their posts and were 
compelled to ask for replacements. 

Meanwhile, about ten o'clock at night, the first and 
fourth platoons had been ordered to leave their reserve 
positions and march back to the Luneville road and down 
the cross-road on the other side where they lay down in the 
mud and slept till morning. In the morning they filtered 
down to replace the casualties in the other two platoons. 

About three o'clock in the morning Lieutenant (Doctor) 
Martin came down in the midst of the gas to relieve Lieu- 
tenant Patten, who had been blinded and taken to the ho6- 


pital. Lieutenant Martin was himself affected by the gas 
and went blind on the following morning. 

By dawn, the men were going blind one after another, 
and being ordered to the hospital. Often, by the time 
they got to the ambulance, the man leading was himself 
blind and both got into the ambulance together. Not a 
man lost his head or lay down on the job and not a man 
left for the hospital until he was stone bhnd, or ordered to 
go by an officer, and a number of men were blinded while 
on post, while others stuck it out for so long that it was 
finally necessary to carry them on stretchers to the dressing 
station; and this although all had been instructed that 
mustard gas was one of the most deadly gases and that 
it caused blindness which lasted for months and was in 
many cases permanent. 

By ten o'clock in the morning fully two-thirds of the 
company had been blinded, and about this time Lieutenants 
Crane, Dowling and Levi, and Captain Hurley one after 
the other went blind and were led back, followed later by 
Lieutenant Burns. 

Throughout the day the men continued to go blind, until 
by seven o'clock only about thirty were left, almost all of 
whom were in the front line, under command of Lieutenant 
Tom Martin, and they were so few that it was necessar}'- 
for them to go on post for four hours at a stretch, with 
two hours off, and some of them, including Tom Hickey, 
Barney Furey, John McLoughlin, Pat McConnell and Jerry 
O'Connor were on post for as long as six hours at a 

At seven o'clock Lieutenant Hunt Warner, with Lieu- 
tenant Zipp, appeared with reinforcements, consisting of 
forty men from Company M. Lieutenant Warner was put 
in command at Chevert with Sergeant Embrie of Company 
K, as second in command; Sergeant Von Glahn of Com- 
pany M, was put in command at C. R. 2, where the gas 
was at that time especially heavy ; and Lieutenant Zipp was 
put in command at Changarnier, with Corporal Joe Far- 


rell, who knew the sector thoroughly and spent the night 
going from one post to another, as second in command, 
Lieutenant Tom Martin at Changarnier being in command 
of the whole company sector. 

That evening about dusk the men in the front line heard 
an explosion in the rear and looked back in time to see 
the battalion ammunition dump go up in a blaze of glory, on 
seeing which all broke into applause and loud cheers. It 
was thought that the Boches might be so foolish as to 
think the evening propitious for a raid, and all posts were 
manned and all were ready to give him a warm reception, 
but he failed to show up. 

At seven next morning the French appeared and the 
relief was completed by about nine o'clock, when the sur- 
vivors set out for Luneville, where they were taken in hand 
by Lieutenant Arnold, who ordered them all, much against 
their protest, to a hospital where they were surprised to 
find that they were casualties, their injuries consisting prin- 
cipally of burns on the body, which had just begun to show 
up, and which kept most of them in the hospital for at least 
a month. 

On their arrival at the hospital they found there some 
of the French troops who had relieved them on that morn- 
ing and who had already become casualties because of the 
gas which lingered in the area. 

The men killed, besides McCoun, were Salvatore More- 
sea, whose body was found by the French in No Man's 
Land the day after the Company was relieved, Carl Braun, 
of Headquarters Company, hit by bullet, with Robert Allen, 
Walter Bigger, and Lawrence Gavin, who died in the hos- 
pital within a day or two as a result of the effect of the gas 
on their lungs. About four hundred of our men were put 
out of action in this gas attack including practically all of 
K Company, many of M, and some from Headquarters, 
Supply and Medical. 

The event had one consoling feature, and that was the 
superb conduct of the men. They had been told most awful 


stories of the effect of gas. When they found that their 
whole position was saturated with it, they felt that their 
chances to live through it were slender, and that they would 
surely be blind for a long time. And yet not a single man 
quit his post until ordered. There was no disorder or panic ; 
the men of Company K were forced to quit their position,, 
but they quit it one by one, and every man was a subject 
for a hospital long before he left. And the Company M 
men coming up to take over the position, and seeing the 
blinded and tortured soldiers going back, had courage in 
equal measure. Soldiers that will stand up to it as these 
had done under the terrors and sufferings of that night 
can be relied on for anything that men can be called on to 


March 23rd, 191 8 
We are quitting this sector and going back to the Langres 
area to rest up a bit and study out the lessons we have 
learned. Most of the companies have started already. The 
Germans are shelling this city today for the first time in 
over three years. It is an interesting experience to be in a 
shelled city, and, so far as I can see the results, not a par- 
ticularly dangerous one. < 


Palm Sunday, 19 18 
This has been an ideal Spring day. I said Mass in the 
village church for the "4th Battalion" (Headquarters, Ma- 
chine Gun, Sanitary and Supply Companies). Later in the 
morning Major Lawrence and I dropped in to the High 
Mass. I was interested in the palms. When I was a lad we 
used cedar, before the days when ships from the Spanish 
Main brought their cargoes of broad palmetto leaves, which 
we carry in our hands on Palm Sunday and wear in our 
hats through Holy Week. Here they use anything fresh, 


young and growing, that the country and the season afford. 

The people pluck small branches from the trees on their 

way to Mass, the preference being for willow shoots with 

their shiny yellow green bark and furry buds. There is a 

fine old-world countryside flavor to this custom of plucking 

these offerings to the Lord from one's own trees or along 

familiar lanes, that we never get from our boughten palms. 

This I felt especially when I saw what they were doing 

I with them. When the procession began, everybody arose 

' and followed the crossbearer out of the church portals into 

the mellow spring morning. Around the church they went, 

their ranks now swelled by a crowd of our own soldiers. 

Our route lay through the graves of the village dead. At 

each grave a lone figure or a small group would detach them- 

' selves and kneel in prayer while they stuck their fresh young 

; twigs in the soil around it. We too found a place for our 

i offerings and prayers when we came to a recently made 

mound with a Croix de Guerre and bronze palm embossed 

upon its stone — a French soldier, "Mort pour la Patrie." 

We borrowed pussy willows from the people and pulled 

branches of green box, and covered that grave with them 

while we made our soldier's orisons for the man that was 

sleeping there, and for our own fine lads that we had left 

', behind in the dugout at Rocroi and under the Green Tree 

Cross at Croixmare. 

After Mass I started off across the fields to visit the 2nd 
Battalion at Essey la Cote. A wonderful spring day — 
fresh and sweet and clear. From the hill one could see 
the dull red tiles of twenty villages clustering along the 
slopes of the rolling landscape. Faint sounds of distant 
church bells came to my ears; and nearer, clearer notes 
from overhead such as I had never heard before. Sky- 
larks! It was the final touch to make it a perfect morn- 

I dropped down to the road which led to the nestling 

k village, and met a band of children romping out. Here too 

was spring. They gathered round me, not at all shy, for 


they were bubbling with excitement and anxious to talk. 
The American soldiers— they were so big— and so young— 
and so nice — and so devout (they filled the church at three 
Masses) — and so rich (they gave money like nobody had 
ever seen before, and the Commandant had put a twenty 
franc note on the collection plate). "Good Old Bill Sta- 
com," I mused, "we are both far away from our little 
parish in the Bronx, but he has not forgotten my teachings 
on the first duty of the laity." 

I dined with Captain Jim Finn and his happy family of 
bright young Lieutenants — Sherman Piatt and Becker and 
Otto and Flynn, clean cut active youngsters who enjoy their 
work and are delighted at serving with the old Regiment. 
I spent the afternoon amongst the men. They too w^ere 
enjoying the day lazily, cleaning up equipment in chatty 
groups or propped against sunny walls, or wandering 
through the fields. They have heard of the big German 
Drive in the north and they know that we have been halted 
and are to be sent in somewhere. They are somewhat dis- 
appointed at not getting back to Longeau and Baissey and 
Cohons and Percey once more, but if there is anything big 
happening they don't want to miss it. That's what we are 
here for. 

Billy Kaas offered to be my guide to the hilltop, from 
which the whole countryside can be seen for miles around. 
The spot is interesting for other reasons. It marks the 
high water level of the German invasion of Lorraine in 
1914, and now it marks the furthest backward step we are 
to make on this journey. I feel prophetic twitchings that 
it will be a long long time before we are allowed to pitch 
our tents in that part of France over there which has not 
known invasion by the enemy. The news from the North 
is grave, and our side will need every soldier it has if the 
Germans are to be held off. And that is a job that will take 
a lot of doing. Well, as the men say, "that's what we are 
here for." 



March 27th, 1918 
Dropped over in the morning to call on the First Bat- 
talion. I found them in the field, where Donovan had had 
them lined up for a cross country run. I prudently kept 
out of his way until he was off with his wild youngsters, 
and then I looked up George McAdie, who had a stay-at- 
home duty. Reilley and Kennelly and McKenna were ca- 
vorting cross country with the rest. Good enough for them 
— athletics is a big part of their lives. But George and I 
are philosophers. So while Donovan led his gang across 
brooks and barbwire fences and over hills and through 
woods, George and I sat discussing the most interesting 
beings in the world; soldier men — their loyalty, courage, 
humor, their fits of laziness and sulkiness. He pointed 
out to me a dark Celt who had been discontented with the 
mean drudgery of a soldier's life and was hard to manage. 
Different methods had been tried to jack him up. All 
failed until the Captain gave him a chance to go over in 
the Luneville raid. At last he found something the lad 
was eager about. He went through the training with cheer- 
fulness, distinguished himself under fire for his cool alacrity, 
and is now playing the game like a veteran. 

Finally the harriers got back, the Major the freshest man 
amongst them. *'Oh, Father," he said, "why didn't you get 
here earlier? You missed a fine time.*' **My Guardian 
Angel was taking good care of me, William," I said, "and 
saw to it that I got here late." 

In the afternoon the band came over and we had a band 
concert in the church square and afterwards a vaudeville 
show given by the men. The Major was asked to say 
something and he smilingly passed the buck to me. I got 
square by telling the story of a Major who had been shot 
at by a German sniper while visiting one of his compa- 
nies in the trenches. He made a big fuss about it with the 
Captain, who in turn bawled out an old sergeant for allow- 


ing such things to happen. The sergeant went himself to 
settle the Heinie that was raising all the trouble. Finally 
he got sight of his man, took careful aim and fired. As 
he saw his shot reach home, he muttered, "Take that, con- 
found you, for missing the Major." 


Easter Sunday Night 
Yesterday we were at Xaffevillers, Magnieres and St. 
Pierremont. For my Easter celebration I picked Magnieres, 
as the whole 2nd Battalion was there and two companies of 
the 1st in St. Pierremont, only ten minutes away. For con- 
fessions I set up shop in the street at the cross ways, and I 
had a busy day of it. There was always a long file wait- 
ing, but when nobody has much to tell the task is soon sped. 
I stayed with Stacom. It is always a pleasure to be with 
Stacom and his officers. He has a way of kindly mastery 
that begets affectionate loyalty. A man likes Stacom even 
when he is getting a call down from him. At supper with 
Doc Houghton, Joe O'Donohue, Arthur Martin, McDer- 
mott, Fechheimer, Landrigan, Ewing Philbin, Billy Burns 
Guggenheim, and Joe McNamara. A man might search the 
list of all his acquaintances and not find a set of men so con- 
genial and happily disposed. 

I looked up the Cure, an alert slender youngish man 
with a keen intelligent face, a soldier just back that day 
en permission to keep the old feast with his own people. 
The Germans had held him as a hostage in 19 14 and had 
thrice threatened to shoot him, though he had looked after 
their wounded, li thoroughness was their motto they 
would have been wiser to do it, I reflected as I talked with 
him ; for he was a man that would count wherever he went, 
and he certainly had no use for Germans. "Too big a man 
for this place. We won't be able to keep him long," said 
Stacom's landlady, a pleasant thoughtful woman, whose 
son of seventeen was just back for the holidays from some 


college where he is beginning his studies for the priest- 

The village church was a ruin. Both sides had used it to 
fight from and both sides had helped to wreck it. The roof 
was gone and most of the side walls. The central tower 
over the entrance still stood, though the wooden beams above 
had burned, and the two big l^ells had dropped clean through 
onto the floor. The Cure used a meeting-room in the town 
hall for his services, but that would not do for my con- 
gregation. The church faced a long paved square, so I 
decided to set up my altar in the entrance and have the 
men hear Mass in the square. The church steps served 
excellently for Communion. It is one of the things I wish 
I had a picture of — my first Easter service in France; the 
old ruined church for a background, the simple altar in the 
doorway, and in front that sea of devout young faces pay- 
ing their homage to the Risen Savior. My text lay around 
me — the desecrated temple, the soldier priest by my side, the 
uniforms we wore, the hope of triumph over evil that the 
Feast inspired, the motive that brought us here to put an end 
to this terrible business of destruction, and make peace 
prevail in the world. Here more than a thousand soldiers 
were present, and the great majority crowded forward at 
Communion time to receive the Bread of Life. 

I hiked it into Baccarat with the Battalion. At a point on 
the road the separated elements of the Regiment met and 
swung in behind each other. Colonel Barker stopped his 
horse on a bank above the road and watched his men go by, 
with feelings of pride in their fine appearance and the 
knowledge of how cheerfully they had given up their pros- 
pects of a rest and were going back into the lines again. 
With his usual kind courtesy, he wanted to have me ride, 
but for once I preferred to hike, as I was having a good 

Arriving in Baccarat I ran into Captain Jack Mangan, — 
always a joyous encounter. We found a hotel and some- 
thing to eat; met there Major Wheeler, Ordnance Officer 


of Division, a Southerner of the finest type. I tried to start 
a row between him and Mangan. I always like to hear these 
supply people fight — they battle with each other with such 
genial vigor. When they began to swap compliments I left 
them, to look up the Y. M. C. A. to see if there were re- 
ligious services in town that I could announce to my Protes- 
tant fellows. J 



March, 191S 
To speak in guide-book fashion, Baccarat is a town of 
15,000 people situated in the wide, flat valley of the Meurthe 
River. It possesses a well-known glass factory and a rather 
elegant parish church, whose elegance is just now slightly 
marred by two clean shell-shots, one through its square 
tower and the other through the octagonal spire. The most 
extensive ruins, dating from the German capture of the 
town in 19 14, are those of the blocks on both sides of the 
street between the church and the river. They were caused, 
not by shell fire, but by deliberate arson, for some actions of 
the townspeople, real or fancied. A few broken walls are 
standing with all the chimneys still intact, sticking up 
amongst them like totem poles. Charlie Brooks, making 
believe that the ruins were caused by shell fire, said to me 
"In case of bombardment, I know the safest place to get. 
Sit right up on top of a chimney and let them shoot 

West of the river the hill rises steeply and is crowned by 
the picturesque old walled village of Deneuvre, dating cer- 
tainly from the early Middle Ages, and, local antiquarians 
say, from Roman times. Here are established our regi- 
mental headquarters, with the four special companies, and 
the whole of the third battalion, or what is left of it, as 
Company K consists of Lieutenant Howard Arnold, Ser- 
geant Embree, Company Clerk Michael Costello and two 
privates, who were absent on other duties when the Com- 



pany was gassed; and Company M is reduced to half its 
strength. The first battalion is very comfortably situated 
in the Haxo Barracks at the north end of Baccarat, the 
2nd Battalion being at present at Neufmaisons, ten kilo- 
meters out toward the front lines. The regiment was se- 
lected as division reserve on account of the depleted strength 
of our 3rd Battalion. 


April 2, 1918 
At last we have located the gassed members of our 3rd 
Battalion in the hospitals at Vittel and Contrexeville ; and 
today, as Lieutenant Knowles had the kindly thought of 
bringing their pay to them, Donovan, Mangan and myself 
took advantage of the opportunity to go and see them. The 
hospitals were formerly hotels in these summer resorts and 
serve excellently for their present purpose. Many of the 
men are still in bed, lying with wet cloths over their poor 
eyes, and many of them have been terribly burned about the 
body, especially those whose duties called upon them to 
make exertions which used perspiration. Among these is 
John McGuire of the Supply Company and many of the 
sanitary detachment, such as Sergeant Lokker, Ed. Mc- 
Sherry, James Butler, Michael Corbett and John J. Tierney, 
who have been recommended for the Croix de Guerre for 
courage and devotion in saving the wounded. Sergeant 
Russell, with Corporals Beall and Brochon of the Head- 
quarters Company are also suffering for their zeal in main- 
taining liaison. 

But it is Company K that had to bear the brunt of it. Of 
the officers. Lieutenant Crane is in the most critical condi- 
tion, and it was a touching thing as I went through the 
ward to hear every single man in his platoon forget his 
own pain to inquire about the Lieutenant. Some of the 
men are still in very bad shape, Richard O'Gorman, George 
Sicklick, Val Prang, Sergeant Gleason, Bernard Leavy, 
Francis Meade, James Mullin and also Mortimer Lynch, 


Qiristopher Byrne, Daniel Dooley, Gerard Buckley, Harold 
Benham, Harold Broe, Kilner McLaughlin, and Buglers Nya 
and Rice. The cooks did not escape — Pat Boland, William 
Mulcahy, Moriarty, Thomas O'Donnell and Michael 
O'Rourke, who, by the way, is one of those Czecho-Slovaks 
who has chosen to fight under a martial name. The Wis- 
consins also have been hard hit, and two of their men here, 
Corporal John Sullivan and Leo Moquin, are painfully 
burned on account of their exertions in carrying others. I 
have turned the names of these two in with a recommenda- 
tion for citation, with those of Staber, Farrell, Ross, Van 
Yorx, Montross, Beall, Brochon, McCabe and the medicos 
mentioned. Sergeant Leo Bonnard, in liaison with the 
French, has received his cross on their recommendation. 
Lieutenant Tom Martin and Dr. Patton also received the 
same decoration. 

Apart from Lieutenant Crane, none of the officers is in 
serious condition, though more than half of the officers in 
the battalion are in the hospital, including Major Moyna- 
han. Captains Hurley, Merle-Smith, and Meaney, Lieuten- 
ants Leslie, Stevens, and Rerat, with nearly all the lieuten- 
ants of Company K and M, and also Major Lawrence with 
Lieutenants Patton and Arthur Martin of the Sanitary De- 
tachment, who desei high praise for their handling of a 
difficult situation. 

The Company M men were not so badly gassed, with 
the exception of Sergeant Emerson. A good many of them 
were walking about with eyes only slightly inflamed. I was 
immediately surrounded by Eustace, Flanigan, Jack Man- 
son, Harry Messmer, Bill Lanigan, Mark White, Jock Cam- 
eron and a lot of others, all clamoring for news about the 
regiment. I made myself a candidate for being canonized 
as a saint hy working at least a hundred first class miracles 
when I announced that we had come with the pay. The 
news was received with a shout, "Gimme me pants, Tm 
all better now.'* 

There was one thing that disturbed us. We found most 


of our injured in these two towns, but there was still a con- 
siderable number whose pay we had that we could not find, 
and nobody was able to tell where they had been sent. 


April 7th, 1918 
The reports which have arrived of the death in hospital 
of Robert Allen, Walter Bigger and Lawrence Gavin of 
Company K gave us our first information concerning the 
whereabouts of soldiers whom we could not discover in our 
trip to the hospital. They died at the new Army Hospital 
at Bazoilles near Neufchateau. As Tom Johnson of the 
New York Sun was visiting us, he offered to take me back 
with him in his car to see them. They are in long, one- 
story hospital barracks and most of them are almost re- 
covered although Amos Dow and Herbert Kelly are still 
very sick boys. With the assistance of the two First Ser- 
geants of K and M, Tim Sullivan and James McGarvey, 
who are also patients, I paid them all off. 

I also gave them a bit of news which was more grateful- 
ly received than the pay, and that is saying a great deal. 
One of the hospital authorities told me that a special order 
had arrived that men of the 165th who would be fit for 
duty by a certain date should be returned direct to the regi- 
ment without going through a casual camp. He told me 
also that the order was entirely an exceptional one, adding 
laughingly that he would be glad to get rid of them. He 
said they were the liveliest and most interesting lot of 
patients he ever had to deal with, but they made themselves 
infernal pests by agitating all the time to get back to their 
confounded old regiment. Howard Gregory came up with 
a side car to take me back and I had another chance to see 
our men in the other two hospitals and was glad to find 
that they are all on the road to recovery. 



April 25th, 19 1 8 
On April 23rd, and a miserable day of rain and mud it 
was, we relieved the Ohios in the positions on the left of 
our Division Sector. Looking east from Baccarat one sees 
only a steep hill which forms the valley of the Meurthe and 
blocks the view in the direction of the combat line; but a 
road from the north of the town leads through an opening 
in the hills to undulating country with small villages dotting, 
the landscape every two or three miles. One of these is 
Reherrey, which is to be our regimental P. C. during our 
stay in this section. The next village to the east, called 
Migneville, shelters our support battalion, the P. C. of the 
advance battalion being at Montigny, still farther on. 

The trenches are more varied and more interesting than 
those in the Forest of Parroy. Those on the left of our 
sector run along the front edge of the Bois Bouleaux, which 
gives its occupants the shelter of trees, but leaves them in 
a position to see an approaching enemy. The trenches to 
the right run over open ground and finally straight across 
the eastern tip of the town of Ancervillers, utilizing the 
cellars, broken walls, etc. Machine gun nests have been 
established in some of the cellars which dominate the open 
spaces, the guns being raised to be able to fire at ground 
level through carefully concealed concrete openings. The 
1st battalion is in line, the 3rd in support, while the 2nd 
is in "Camp Mud," a group of barracks to the rear of us 
in surroundings which provoke its title. Poor fellows, they 
would much rather be in a battle. 


'April 28th, 1918 
Went over Saturday to St. Pol where Companies L and 
M are in support positions and passed the night with Merle- 
Smith and his Lieutenants, Carroll, Baker, Givens and 


Knowles. The village church is pretty badly wrecked, parts 
of the walls and most of the roof being tumbled down in 
crumbled ruins. One shell went through just in front of the 
altar, but the roof above the altar is fairly well intact. I had 
doubts as to whether I could use it for services, but Cor- 
nelius Fitzpatrick and Frank Eustace offered to have it 
cleaned up and put in shape for me by next morning. When 
I arrived to say Mass I was delighted at the transformation 
they had effected. The half ruined reredos of the altar was 
a mass of bloom with big branches of blossoms which they 
had cut from the fruit trees in the garden. It is one of the 
pictures of the war that I shall long carry in my mind. 

One of the men told me that Joyce Kilmer had been out 
here on his duties as Sergeant of the Intelligence Section 
to map out the ground with a view to its defence if at- 
tacked. As his party was leaving the ruined walls he said, 
"1 never like to leave a church without saying a prayer," 
and they all knelt down among the broken fragments under 
the empty vault and said a silent prayer — a beautiful 
thought of a true poet and man of God. 


May 5th, 1918 
Headquarters, both American and French, have been 
very anxious for somebody to take prisoners, and we were 
all very much pleased this morning to hear that a patrol 
from Company D had gone out and bagged four of them. 
Out across No Man's Land from Ancervillers there is, or 
used to be, a few houses which went by the name of Ha- 
meau d'Ancervillers. There was some reason to believe 
that a German outpost might be found there; so at mid- 
night last night a patrol of two officers and twenty-four 
men, mainly from Company D, went on a little hunting ex- 
pedition. They crossed No Man's Land to the old Ger- 
man trenches, which they found to be battered flat. 

Lieutenant Edmond J. Connelly remained with a few 


men in No Man's Land to guard against surprise, and Lieu- 
tenant Henry K. Cassidy took the rest of them, including 
Sergeant John J. O'Leary of Company A, Sergeant Thomas 
O'Malley of Company D and Sergeant John T. Kerrigan of 
the IntelHgence Section to examine the ruins of the hamlet. 
Part of the wall of one house was left standing. O'Leary 
led three men to one side of it, and O'Malley three others 
to the other side, while Lieutenant Cassidy approached it 
from the front. They were challenged by a German sen- 
try and the two Sergeants with their followers rushed at 
once to close quarters and found themselves engaged with 
six Germans, two of whom were killed, and one wounded, 
the survivors dashing headlong into a dugout. 

Lieutenant Cassidy, pistol in hand, ran to the opening 
of the dugout and called on them to surrender. If any one 
of them had any fight left in him we would have had to 
mourn the loss of a brave young officer, but they surren- 
dered at discretion, and our whole party, with no casual- 
ties, started back as fast as they could, carrying the wound- 
ed prisoner and dragging the others with them. It was 
an excellent job, done with neatness and dispatch. Valuable 
papers were found on the wounded man and other infor- 
mation was obtained at Division by questioning. The only 
thing to spoil it was that two of our men, Corporal Joseph 
Brown and Charles Knowlton got lost in the dark coming 
in, and have not yet reported.* 


May 9th, 19 1 8 
War is a time of sudden changes and violent wrenches of 
the heart strings ; and we are getting a taste of it even be- 
fore we enter into the period of battles. We are to lose 
Colonel Barker. Back in Washington they are looking for 

* These men became confused and wandered into the German lines 
where they were made prisoners. Information concerning their fate 
came to us through the Red Cross about two months later, and both 
rejoined the regiment after the Armistice. 


men who know the war game as it is played over here, and, 
as Colonel Barker has been observing it, or engaged in it, 
since the war began, they have ordered him back to report 
for duty at the War Department. 

Our regrets at his going are lessened by two considera- 
tions. The first is that we feel he will get his stars by rea- 
son of the change and it will make us glad for him and 
proud for ourselves to see one of our Colonels made a 
General. The other is the news that his successor is to be 
Frank R. ]\IcCoy, of General Headquarters. He was not 
a Colonel on the General Staff when we crossed his path 
first, but Captain McCoy of the 3rd Cavalry, stationed at 
Mission, Texas. I did not meet him down there, but heard 
a whole lot about him — all good— from Colonel Haskell, 
and from Colonel Gordon Johnston of the 12th New York, 
who had been a captain with McCoy in the 3rd Cavalry. 
About the time we got to Mission he was made Chief of 
Staff to General Parker at Brownsville. Later I read of 
his going to Mexico as military attache with our new Am- 
bassador, Mr. Fletcher, and then that General Pershing had 
reached out after him there to bring him over here with the 
A. E. F. In the more remote past he has been Aide de 
Camp to General Woods, Military Aide at the White House 
under President Roosevelt, and on special duty for the 
government on various semi-diplomatic missions. If this 
list of employments had any tendency to make me wonder 
how much of a soldier he was, it would have vanished 
quickly after one look at his left breast which is adorned 
with five service bars. They say in the army that McCoy 
has done all kinds of duty that an officer can be called upon 
to do, but has never missed a fight — a good omen for the 
''Fighting Sixty-Ninth." 

He is a man of good height, of spare athletic figure, 
with a lean strongly formed face, nose Roman and dominat- 
ing, brows capacious, eyes and mouth that can be humorous. 
quizzical or stern, as I learned by watching him, in the first 
five minutes. He has dignity of bearing, charm of manner 


and an alert and wide-ranging intelligence that embraces 
men, books, art, nature. If he only thinks as well of us as 
we are going to think of him I prophesy that he will have 
this regiment in the hollow of his hand to do what he likes 
with it. Everything helps. ''McCoy, is it? Well, he has 
a good name anyway," said one of the "boys from home.*' 

Colonel McCoy came to us in the lines, the P. C. being 
at Reherrey. The popotte (mess) occupied two low-ceiled 
rooms in a three-room cottage. We sat close together on 
benches at a long plank table, but it was a jolly company. 
To give the new Colonel a taste of his Regiment I told him 
a monologue by one of our men that I had overheard the 
evening before. There are a couple of benches right in 
front of my billet, in the narrow space between the dung- 
heap and the window, and there is always a lot of soldiers 
around there in their free time. They know I am inside the 
open window, but pay no attention to my presence — a real 

There was a military discussion on among the bunch 
from Company C. They got talking about the German 
policy of evacuating the front line trenches when we send 
over a concentrated barrage preparatory to a raid, and then 
letting fly at us with their machine guns as we return 
empty-handed. Somebody said he thought it was a good 
thing. This irritated my friend Barney Barry, solid Irish- 
man, good soldier, and I may add, a saintly-living man. 
"But Oi don't loike it," he said, "Oi don't loike it at all. It 
looks too much loike rethreatin', — I think they betther lave 
us be. Take the foive uv us here — me and Jim Barry and 
Pat Moran and Moike Cooney, and you Unger — you're a 
Dootchman, but you're a good man — the foive of us in a 
thrench with our roifles and what we'd have on us to shoot, 
and a couple uv exthra bandoliers, and a bunch of thim 
guinny foot-balls (hand grenades) and a bit of wire up in 
front; and if the young officers u'd only keep their heads, 
and not be sayin' 'Do this ; and don't do that' ; gettin' them- 
selves excoited, and whot's worse, gettin' us excoited, but 


just lave us be, I give ye me v^urrd that be the toime 
mornin' u'd come, and ye'd come to be buryin' thim, ye'd 
think ye had your old job back diggin* the subv^ay." 

The Colonel was delighted v^ith this sample of the spirit 
of his Irish regiment. And I determined to let him see the 
whole works at once. He might as well get the full flavor 
of the Regiment first as last. We had a concert going on 
in the next room. Tom O'Kelly sang in his fine full rich' 
baritone the "Low Back Car" and that haunting Scottish 
melody of "Loch Lomond." 

"Give us a rebel song, Tom," I called. "What's that, 
sir — Father, I mean." McCoy twinkled delightedly. "A 
rebel song," I repeated. "Alright, Father, what shall I 
sing." "Oh, you know a dozen of them. The West's 
Awake,' 'O'Donnel Aboo' or 'A Nation Once Again.' " 
Tom responded readily with "O'Donnel Aboo," and as its 
defiant strains ended in a burst of applause he broke into 
the blood stirring old rebel ballad, "The Wearing of the 
Green." Colonel McCoy's face was beaming. He evi- 
dently likes things to have their proper atmosphere. I can 
see the old Irish 69th is just what he expected it to be, and 
what he wanted it to be. I see there is no worry in his 
mind about how these singers of rebel songs wnll do their 
part in this war. 

I had a long talk with him today about the Regiment, 
and I find him anxious to keep up its spirit and traditions. 
They are as dear to him for their romantic flavor and 
their military value as those of the Household Guards or 
the Black Watch are to the Englishman or the Scot. 


May I2th, 19 18 
Majors Moynahan and Stacom are being transferred to 
other duties, much to everybody's regret. It looks like a 
break up of the old Regiment. It would be, I fear, if any- 
body but McCoy were Colonel. But he has a slate for pro- 


motion already; a 69th slate, and he will put it through if 
anybody can — Anderson and James McKenna for Majors, 
Trout and Bootz and W. McKenna for Captains. It will 
save the spirit of the regiment if he can carry this through. 
If the vacancies are filled by replacement we shall not know 
ourselves in a short time. I feel all the more grateful to 
our new Colonel because he had a share in planning the 
replacement idea; and besides, I know that there are plenty 
of officers at General Headquarters, friends of his, who 
are anxious to get to the front and to have the 69th on their 
service records. It would be an embarrassment to any other 
man to go to G. H. Q. and ask them to change the scheme 
of filling vacancies by replacement instead of by promo- 
tion. But I know just what will happen, when they say 
"Why, you helped to make this plan." He will smile be- 
nignly, triumphantly and say 'That just proves my point. 
Now that I am in command of a regiment I find by first 
hand knowledge that the original plan does not work out 


May 15th, 1918 

Our allotted three weeks in line being up, we returned 
to our original stations, the only change being that the 2nd 
Battalion comes to Deneuvre, while the 3rd has to go to 
Camp Mud. I am billetted with the Cure, a devout and 
amiable priest — who was carried off as a hostage by the 
Germans in their retreat of 19 14 and held by them for over 
a year. He likes to have Americans around, and we fill 
his house. Captain Anderson, Lieutenants Walsh, Howe, 
Allen and Parker are domiciled with me. Joe Bruell and 
Austin McSweeney have their wireless in a room in the 
house, and draw down all sorts of interesting messages 
from the other Sergeants. Sergeants McCarthy, Esler and 
Russell are next door neighbors, and better neighbors no 
man could choose. I can go down to the dooryard if time 
hangs on my hands and hear remarks on men and things, 


made more piquant by New York slang or Irish brogue. 

It is a delight to go to our mess with McCoy's stimulat- 
ing wit and Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell's homely philoso- 
phy and Mangan's lively comments, and the various as- 
pects of war and life opened up by all sorts of interesting 
people — Bishops, diplomats, soldiers and correspondents 
who drift in from afar, drawn by the magnetism of our 
Colonel. The food may not always be to the taste of an 
epicure but *'we eat our Irish potatoes flavored with Attic 
salt," as Father Prout says. 

But my chiefest joy in life is to have Joyce Kibner 
around. In the army it matters little whether a man was 
a poet or a grave digger — he is going to be judged by what 
he is as a soldier. And Joyce is rated high by everybody 
from the K. P. to the Colonel because he is a genuine fel- 
low. He is very much a soldier — a Sergeant now, and 
prouder of his triple chevron as member of the 69th than he 
would be of a Colonel's eagles in any other outfit. If they 
do not let us commission officers within the Regiment he will, 
come out of the war as Sergeant Joyce Kilmer — a fine title, 
I think, for any man, for it smacks of the battlefield with 
no confounded taint of society about it. His life with us 
is a very full and a very happy one. At first I selfishly took 
him to help in my own duties regarding statistics. He 
was glad to help, but he regretted leaving a line company, 
and especially parting from a lot of friends he had made 
among the Irish "boys from home," whose simpHcity 
amused him and whose earnest faith aroused his enthu- 

Over here he got restless at being on the Adjutant's force, 
and when Lieutenant Elmer began his lectures on the work 
and opportunities of the Intelligence Section — scouting, and 
all the rest of it — ^Joyce pleaded with me to get him away 
from a desk and out in the line. Now he is happy all the 
day long. He has worked himself into various midnight 
patrols, and Captain Anderson has told me to advise him 
that he lacks caution in taking care of himself, but as Kil- 


mer has told me the same thing about Anderson, I feel 
helpless about them both. 

I know Kilmer well. He has evidently made up his 
mind to play the game without flinching, without any ad- 
mixture of fear. On our last day in Luneville, when the 
town was being shelled, I called to him to stand in a door- 
way where there was a little less danger and he answered 
with a story about Tom Lacey and a French Major, the 
moral of which was that a soldier is expendable and officers 
not; and the outcome of which was that I went forth and 
walloped him till he came in, though still chuckling. He 
has been for some time out on an observation post in a 
beautiful spot which overlooks the German lines, with 
Watson, Kerrigan, Beck, Mott, Levinson, Titterton — all 
great admirers of his. Whenever he gets a day off he is 
in to see me and we break all the rules chatting till mid- 
night and beyond. Books and fighting and anecdotes and 
good fellows and things to eat and religion; all the good 
old natural human interests are common to us, with a 
liavor of literature, of what human-minded people have 
said in the past to give them breadth and bottom. 

Kilmer or I, or both of us, may see an end to life in this 
war, but neither of us will be able to say that life has not 
been good to us. 


May 17th, 1918 
Just over to the Regimental Supply Office to see Man- 
gan. I am always looking for reasons to spend a while with 
Captain Jack. He has a great outfit. I watched his trained 
youngsters, Lacey, Kennedy, Burke, Nulty and the two 
delightful Drennan boys at their business of taking care of 
the Regiment, which they have learned to do so efficiently. 
I wonder if they will find in civil life jobs to suit the tal- 
ents they display here. The Regimental Supply Sergeants, 
Joe Flannery and Eddie Scanlon, could run anything. First 
Sergeant Comiskey is back with us, and so is Harry Mai- 


Ion, mule-skinner and funmaker. Everybody was glad to 
see Harry once more. Walter Lloyd's gentle voice boom- 
ing from a nearby stable let me know that the Company 
kitchen was near, so I wandered in that direction for a cup 
of coffee from Healy and McAviney — always the height of 
hospitality for everybody there. Stopped a row between 
Frankie Meade and Carburetor Donnelly — Frankie is the 
proud guardian of the Regimental ratter and the other boy- 
soldier passed a remark about it that no man would let be 
said about his dog. I held up Charlie Feick for a canteen, 
and before I left Henry and Klauberg and Beverly had 
dug me up an O. D. suit, underwear, socks, shoe-laces and 
a web belt. Had a good day. 


May 2ist, 1918 
The new regulations provide for a senior chaplain in each 
Division. I felt that General Menoher would appoint me 
for the job as I am senior in service, and I had a notion 
that my friend Colonel MacArthur would suggest my name. 
It has been a worry to me as I do not intend to leave the 
regiment for anything else on earth and I am afraid I may 
have to go through the war hanging around Division Head- 
quarters. So I asked Colonel McCoy if he would back me 
in my refusal to accept the office if I had to quit the regi- 
ment, to which I received a hearty affirmative. 

I received news of the outcome from McCoy a few days 
later. Colonel MacArthur had told him I was to be senior 
chaplain, but he was in entire accord with my wish to re- 
main with a fighting unit. Our Chief of Staff chafes at his 
own task of directing instead of fighting, and he has pushed 
himself into raids and forays in which, some older heads 
think, he had no business to be. His admirers say that his 
personal boldness has a very valuable result in helping to 
give confidence to the men. Colonel McCoy and Major 
Donovan are strong on this point. Donovan says it would 


[ be a blamed good thing for the army if some General got 
himself shot in the front line. General Menoher and Gen- 
eral Lenihan approve in secret of these madnesses ; but all 
five of them are wild Celts, whose opinion no sane man like 
myself would uphold. 

At any rate, Colonel McCoy was so satisfied with the 
result of the outcome in my case that he went further and 
said, ''Now, if my chaplain is to be senior chaplain of the 
Division it is not right that he should remain a First 
Lieutenant. He ought to be a Major at least." McCoy 
told me with twinkling eyes, "MacArthur said, 'Now, Mc- 
Coy, if I were you I would not bring up the question of 
the rank of Father Duffy, for I had serious thoughts of 
making him Colonel of the 165th instead of you.' You are 
a dangerous man. Father Duffy," continued the genial Mc- 
Coy, "and I warn you, you won't last long around here." 


May 25th, 1918 
Being made Senior Chaplain of the Division I judged 
that my first, if not my sole duty, was to give a dinner to 
the brethren. We had a meeting in the morning in a large 
room under the Cure's hospitable roof, and everyone was 
there. Chaplains Halliday, Robb, Harrington, Smith and 
McCallum I had known since our first days in Camp Mills, 
and we had worked together ever since as if we belonged 
to one religious family. Those who were added to our body 
since we came to France impress us all as being first class 
men. Three of them I call the "Young Highbrows" : Chap- 
lains N. B. Nash of the 150th F. A., who was a Professor 
in the Episcopal Theological Seminary at Cambridge, 
Charles L. O'Donnell, the poet priest of Notre Dame Uni- 
versity, who is attached to the 117th Engineers, and Eugene 
Kenedy, who has been a professor in various Jesuit Colleges 
and who is now working with the 150th Machine Gun 
Battalion, after a month of breaking in with our regiment 


Qiaplain Ralph M. Tibbals, a Baptist Qergyman from the 
Southwest, and Chaplain William Drennan, a priest from 
Massachusetts, were new men to most of us, but made a de- 
cidedly favorable impression. 

We discussed a number of matters of common interest 
and every single topic was decided by unanimous vote. 
The clergy discover in circumstances like these that their 
fundamental interests are absolutely in common. I do 
not mean to say that there is any tendency to give up their 
own special creeds ; in fact, they all make an effort to sup- 
ply the special religious needs of men of various denomina- 
tions in their own regiments by getting the other chaplains 
to have occasional services or by announcing such services 
to the men. I told Bishop Brent that the way the Clergy of 
different churches got along together in peace and harmony 
in this Division would be a scandal to pious minds. 

I think it would be a good thing if representatives of 
various churches would have a meeting every year at the 
seashore in bathing suits, where nobody could tell whether 
the man he was talking to was a Benedictine Abbot, a 
Methodist Sunday-School Superintendent or a Mormon El- 
der. They would all find out how many things of interest 
they have in common, and, without any disloyalty to their 
own church, would get together tO' put them over. 

At this meeting there was one thing that I wanted for 
myself. Some day we shall have three Chaplains for each 
Infantry regiment, but the time is long in coming, and I 
am anxious to get someone to hold religious services for my 
Protestant fellows. I have asked the Division Secretary 
of the Y. M. C. A. to supply me with one of his Secretaries 
who is a clergyman, to be attached permanently to the regi- 
ment ; promising that he would be treated as well as I my- 
self. I have been after this for a long while but the Divi- 
sion Secretary has not too many men, and he is tied down 
in the placing of them by the canteen situation which makes 
it necessary to leave the same man in one place as long as 
possible. Chaplains Nash and Halliday, who are very 


close to me in all my counsels, are going with me to Chau- 
mont to back me up in a request to the G. H. Q. Chap- 
lains — Bishop Brent, Chaplain Moody and Father Doherty, 
to have them ask the chief officials of the Y. M. C. A. to 
assign one of their Protestant clergyman permanently to 
my regiment. 

I had left the matter of dinner in the capable hands of 
the Regimental Supply Sergeant, Joe Flannery, so every- 
body went home satisfied. 

During my stay at Deneuvre I have seen a good deal 
of Bishop Brent, formerly Episcopal Bishop in the Philip- 
pines and now Senior of the G. H. Q. Chaplains. He knew 
Colonel McCoy in the Philippines, and like everybody who 
ever knew him, is glad to have a chance to visit him. The 
Bishop and I have become good friends, the only drawback 
being that he talks too often about getting me with him at 
G. H. Q., while my battle cry is that of every member of 
the regiment, "I want to stick with my own outfit." He 
is anxious to have some first-hand experience of work in 
the trenches and he has paid us the compliment of saying 
that if he can get away he will attach himself to the 165th. 
I hope he can come for I know that everybody will be as at- 
tached to him as I am myself, and he on his part will have 
, some interesting experiences. 

May 26th, 1 918 
I have just been talking with Donovan, Anderson, Man- 
gan and others of the old timers and we all remarked on 
what a hold Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell had gotten on us 
during his short stay amongst us. He was assigned to us 
as a replacement and drifted in so unassumingly that we 
scarcely knew he had arrived until he was with us a week. 
But as he has gone about from place to place doing all 
kinds of jobs, — inspections, courtmartials, and the like, we 
have grown to know him better, and to like him more the 
more we know him. He is efficient without bustJe, authori- 
tative without bluster, never unreasonable and full of quaint 


native humor. His father was a Chaplain in the Army 
which is perhaps one of the reasons why the son and I are 
already like old chums. 


May 30th, 191 8 
The uniforms we wear as well as the losses we have 
already sustained make us appreciate the significance of Me- 
morial Day. General Menoher left the arrangements for 
a proper celebration of the day to the Chaplains. So I called 
a meeting at which all were present. It was an easy matter 
to select speakers from our various commands to address 
meetings of soldiers in every village in which elements of 
the Division were quartered. The regimental bands of the 
Infantry and Artillery Regiments were to be sent by trucks 
from one station to another, so that all of our soldiers 
should have the benefit of their services. 

The main celebration was to be at Baccarat where our 
Division Headquarters were, and the burden of arranging 
for it fell on the 165th, now in reserve. The dead of our 
Division, mainly men of the 84th Brigade, which has been 
in this Sector since the beginning of March, are buried in 
a Military Cemetery; and our first duty was to pay them 
solemn honors. Polychrom of Company A made wreaths 
from the flowers lavishly offered by the people of Deneuvre. 
Everybody of all ranks who could be spared was present 
at the ceremony, together with large number of the civilian 
population. Children of the town were selected to place 
the wreaths upon the graves of our dead, and the last rest- 
ing place of our French companions was not neglected. 

After the ceremony Captain Handy came to me with an 
invitation from General Menoher to ride back with him. 
General Menoher is a man who begets loyalty and confi- 
dence. Americans are better acquainted with the business 
type of man than the military type, and I think I can best 
characterize him by saying that if he were out of uniform 


he would impress one as a successful business man — one 
of the kind that can carry responsibility, give orders af- 
fecting large affairs with calmness and certainty, and still 
find time to be human. He is entirely devoid of posing, of 
vanity, or of jealousy. His only desire is to see results. 
Consequently his subordinates are doing magnificent team- 
work, and the excellent condition of the Division is due 
to this factor as well as his direct care of us. We are ex- 
ceedingly fortunate in having such a man to rule over us. 
Colonel McCoy saw to it that the grave of every one of 
our dead was properly honored on this day — in South- 
ampton, in Langres, in Ancervillers and here in Baccarat. 
During the afternoon he and I went to Croixmare ; so like- 
wise did General Menoher with Colonel MacArthur and 
General Lenihan with Major Conway. We found that the 
Cure and his parishioners, as also the French soldiers, had 
kept the graves there in beautiful condition — a tribute to 
our dead which warms our heart to the people of France. 


/ June loth, 191 8 

In spite of all you tell me I have lost, I have a stray as- 
sortment of arms and legs left, ungainly, I admit, but still 
' serviceable, whether for reaching for the bread at messtime 
or for pushing me around my broad parish. I hear that I 
am dead — wounded — gone crazy. I hate to contradict so 
many good people, but I must say that I know I am alive, 
and that I never felt better in my life. As for the third 
count, perhaps I had better leave it to others to testify, but 
I'm no worse than I always was. I may be considered a 
bit off for coming over here, but that's a decent kind of 
craziness, and one I am glad to see becoming quite popular. 
I wish that my case could serve as a warning to good 
folks at home who are distracted by all sorts of rumors 
about their lads here. If anything happens to any one of 
us, the folks will hear of it from Washington within a hun- 


dred hours. If it says "Slightly Wounded," they may take 
it as good news. For let me tell you, if I was worrying 
continually about the fate of some dear one over here, and 
got word he was ''Slightly Wounded," I would sigh a sigh 
of relief that the beloved was out of harm's way and hav- 
ing a good time for a while. 

I don't mind rumors in the army. They are part of the 
game. With eating and growling, they constitute our chief 
forms of recreation. Fact is, I am made the father of most 
of them in this regiment. When some lad starts his tongue 
going, and everybody tells him just what kind of a liar he 
is, he says that Father Duffy said so, and Father Duffy 
got it straight from Secretary Baker or General Pershing, 
or, who knows? — by revelation. It is a great compliment 
to me, but a left-handed one to my teaching. 

At home, though, rumors don't just interest — they hurt. 
I know how much they hurt, for my pile of "agony letters" 
keeps mounting up with every mail. And I can't answer 
them all at length, as I would wish — not if I want to do 
anything else. 

First-class mail is the bane of my life as Chaplain. Like 
everyone else, I don't mind reading it, but I know what it 
'means when it comes to answ^ering it. Gosh! how I hate 
that. I like to keep on the go. I have to keep on the go to 
get anything done, with the regiment scattered in five dif- 
ferent villages, miles apart, and outside work to do in the 
other outfits for men that want the sacraments, and hospi- 
tals to visit. And to have to stick a whole day at a table to 
soothe sorrows that don't exist, or oughtn't to — whew ! 

The letters I am most ready to answer are from those 
who have gotten real bad news from Washington. God be 
good to them. I'd do anything for them. And the ones I 
am glad to get — if I don't have to answer them myself — 
are those that put me onto something I can do for the men 
— see that Jimmy keeps the pledge, or that Tom goes to 
Church, or find what's the matter with Eddie who lost his 
stripes, or break bad news to Michael, or see that Jack 


doesn't fall in love with any of those French hussies, but 
comes back to the girl that adores him. These all help, and 
I get round to them in time — and make the victim write a 
letter, to which I put my name as censor — a proof of my 

But the biggest bulk of my mail consists of inquiries why 
no mail has arrived from Patrick for three weeks — and is 
he dead — or why Jerry's allotment had not been made. 
When I interview Patrick, he informs me disgustedly 
that he has written home every twenty minutes. And I 
know that before any letter of mine can get there, the Sul- 
livans will have received a bunch of mail that will make 
them the gossips and the envy and the pride of the parish 
till they begin to get worried and write to me again. 

As for the allotments, the nearest I come — don't ask me 
how near — to falling into the sole vice of our army of using 
strong language is when I get a letter from some poor 
mother or wife about their non-payment. Our men have 
been extraordinarily decent about helping out the folks at 
home. But it has been new forms to make out, or the de- 
mand for a change of the name of Mrs. Michael J. Farrell 
to Mrs. Mary Farrell — and all the time decent folks going 
short at home, and the best men we've got fretting in the 
trenches. That's the way these fountain-pen soldiers are 
helping to win the war. How have they kept it so secret? 
Even men like those that make up our Board of Trustees 
have written me that our men are slack about making allot- 
ments. And the poor fellows in most cases have stripped 
themselves to ten dollars a month, and are scudding along* 
on bare poles half way between paydays — I know all about 
that, and the Trustees, all good men and true, will hold back 
their language when I report that I had to use their money 
for lads that had left themselves destitute for their folks, 
while their folks were being left destitute by those people 
m Washington. 

You ask me to tell you about my work here. Well, in 
the main it is what I did at home, though under different 


circumstances. The old Sixty-Ninth is a parish — an itiner- ^ 
ant parish. Probably a sixth of the ''parishioners" do not ! 
look to me for dogmatic instruction, but you know how 
much that counts for in my ordinary relations with them, j 
Remember the afternoon last Spring, when Father Prunty \ 
went into the play-hall to get helpers from my gang for his 
patriotic gardening and found afterward that his five vol- 
unteers consisted of two Protestants, two Jews and Andy 

I have this class of parishioners very much on my con- 
science. I can't get the other chaplains to help except on 
the few occasions when regiments, or parts of them occupy 
the same place. Every chaplain has five times what he can 
do to supply Sunday services for his own scattered com- 

At any rate, I can assure you that the different elements 
in the old regiment have fused properly. By the way, I 
cannot remember anything that delighted me more than 
when I heard Sergeant Abe Blaustein was to get the Croix 
de Guerre — he was recommended for it by Major Donovan \ 
and Major Stacom (the pride of our parish) and Lieutenant I 
Cavanaugh. He is a good man, Abe, and the 69th appre- ■ 
ciates a good man when it sees him. John O'Keefe's poem 
made a hit with all of us. 

That reminds me of something at my expense. Captain 
John Prout approached me with a genial grin to tell me 
that at our Christmas Mass he had seen a Jew boy pres- 
ent, and later on he asked him ''What were you doing at 
Mass?" "Oh, Captain," he said, "you know I'd go to Hell 
with you." Prout said to me, "The compliment to myself 
is very obvious, Father, — I hope that you will be able to 
find in it one for yourself too." 

But I started to tell you about my work. I have a con- 
gregation of the old faith, approximately three thousand 
souls. They are generally scattered through five or six 
French villages, when en repos, and more scattered still 
through trenches and abandoned towns when in line. 


To begin with the form of pastoral activity you are no 
doubt most interested in, for you will be getting a parish 
one of these days — I take up no collections. 'Tis a sad con- 
fession to make, and I expect to be put out of the Pastor's 
Union when I get back for breach of rules. But the lads 
are not left entirely without proper training. The old 
French cures (God bless them, they are a fine lot of old 
gentlemen) take up the collection. A tremendously impor- 
tant-looking old beadle in a Napoleonic cocked hat and 
with a long staff goes before, with a money-or-your-life 
air about him, and in the rear comes the apologetic man- 
nered cure, or perhaps a little girl, carrying a little dish that 
is a stimulus to stinginess, which is timidly pushed forward 
a few inches in the direction of the man on the outside 
seat. If the man is an American he grabs the dish and 
sticks it under the nose of his neighbor, with a gruff whis- 
per, "Cough up." They cough up all right — if it isn't too 
far from payday. Even at that they are good for more of 
the Cigar Store coupons and the copper washers that pass 
for money here than are the local worshippers. The cures 
proclaim us the most generous people in the world — and so 
we are — which makes it unanimous. They listen with open 
mouths to my tales of financial returns in city parishes at 
home and wish secretly that they had started life where 
things are run like that — until I tell them of the debts we 
have to carry, and they are content once more that their 
lot has been cast in the quiet, old-time villages of Lorraine. 

But to do them justice, they are most impressed by the 
way our men practice their religion. Two companies of our 
regiment jam a village church — aisles, sanctuary, sacristy, 
porch. A battalion shows its good will by filling the church- 
yard, the windows being ornamented by rough martial vis- 
ages which don't look exactly like those of the placid looking 
saints in the stained glass above — but I feel that the saints 
were once flesh-and-blood people themselves, and that they 
have an indulgent, perhaps even an admiring eye, on the 
good lads that are worshipping God as best they can. 


There is no doubt anyway about the opinion of the good 
priests who are carrying on the work of the dead and gone 
saints. They are full of enthusiasm about our fellows. 
What attracts them most is their absolute indifference to 
what people are thinking of them as they follow their re- 
ligious practices. These men of yours, they tell me, are 
not making a show of religion ; they are not offending oth- 
ers; they touch their hats to a church, or make the sign of 
the Cross, or go to Mass just because they want to, with 
the same coolness that a man might show in taking coffee 
without milk or expressing a preference for a job in life. 
They run bases with scapulars flying, and it don't occur to 
them that they have scapulars on, any more than they would 
be conscious of having a button of their best girl or Presi- 
dent Wilson pinned to their shirts — they may have all three. 

Come to think of it, it is a tribute not only to our re- 
ligious spirit, but to the American spirit as a whole. The 
other fellows don't think of it either — no more than I do 
that one of our Chaplains who is closest to me in every 
thought and plan wears a Masonic ring. We never advert 
to it except when some French people comment on our trav- 
eling together — and then it is a source of fun. 

I often drop in on soldiers of other outfits around their 
kitchens or in the trenches, or during a halt on the road, 
and hear confessions. Occasionally Catholic soldiers in 
country regiments, with the small-town spirit of being loth 
to doing anything unusual while people are looking at them, 
hold back. Then my plan is to enlist the cooperation of the 
Protestant fellows, who are always glad to pick them out 
for me. and put them in my clutches. They have a lot of 
sport about it, dragging them up to me as if they were pris- 
oners; but it is a question of serious religion as soon as 
their confession begins, the main purpose of the prelimi- 
naries being simply to overcome a country boy's embarrass- 
ment. It proves, too, that the average American likes to see 
a man practice his religion, whatever it may be. 

With my own men there is never any difficulty of that 


kind. I never hear confessions in a church, but always in 
the pubHc square of a village, with the bustle of army life 
and traffic going on around us. There is always a line of 
fifty or sixty soldiers, continuously renewed throughout the 
! afternoon, until I have heard perhaps as many as five hun- 
dred confessions in the battalion. The operation always 
arouses the curiosity of the French people. They see the 
line of soldiers with man after man stepping forward, dof- 
fing his cap with his left hand, and making a rapid sign of 
the cross with his right, and standing for a brief period 
within the compass of my right arm, and then stepping for- 
ward and standing in the square in meditative posture while 
he says his penance. "What are those soldiers doing?" I 
can see them whispering. *'They are making the Sign of the 
Cross. Mon Dieu ! they are confessing themselves." Non- 
Catholics also frequently fall into line, not of course to 
make their confession, but to get a private word of religious 
comfort and to share in the happiness they see in the faces 
of the others. 

Officers who are not Catholics are always anxious to pro- 
vide opportunities for their men to go to confession; not 
only through anxiety to help them practice their religion, 
but also for its distinct military value. Captain Merle- 
Smith told me that when I was hearing confessions before 
we took over our first trenches he heard different of his men 
saying to his first sergeant, Eugene Gannon, "You can put 
my name down for any kind of a job out there. Tm all 
cleaned up and I don't give a damn what happens now.'* 
That is the only spirit to have going into battle — to be 
\i without any worries for body or soul. If battles are to be 
> won, men have to be killed ; and they must be ready, even 
j willing, to be killed for the cause and the country they are 
!• fighting for. While we were still in Luneville the regiment 
;• attended Mass in a body and I said to them, "Much as I 
^ love you all I would rather that you and I myself, that 
all of us should sleep our last sleep under the soil of France 
31 than that the historic colors of this Old Regiment, the ban- 


ner of our republic, should be soiled by irresolution or dis- 
graced by panic." 

The religion of the Irish has character' tics of its own — 
they make the Sign of the Cross with the right hand, while 
holding the left ready to give a jab to anybody who needs it 
for his own or the general good. I cannot say that it is an 
ideally perfect type of Christianity ; but considering the sort 
of world we have to live in yet, it as near as we can come at 
present to perfection for the generality of men. It was into 
the mouth of an Irish soldier that Kipling put the motto, 
''Help a woman, and hit a man; and you won't go far 
wrong either way." 


May, 1918 
The Kiiights of Columbus have secured a splendid place 
in Baccarat. The Cure had a large hall with extra rooms 
and a nice yard outside, for the young men of the Parish; 
and this he was glad to hand over to the K. of C. for the 
use of American soldiers. Early in the game Mr. Walter 
Keman had tried to get in touch with me but had failed 
as we were moving around too much. However, he had 
sent me a check for 5,000 francs with instructions to use it 
for the men. I had no need of money, as our Board of 
Trustees were willing to supply whatever I should ask, and 
there were very few things that could be purchased on the 
scale demanded by a regiment of 3,600 men. We have now 
received the services of Messrs. Bundschuh, May and Mr. 
Keman's brother, Joseph, with a French-American priest 
whom I assigned to look after the Catholics in two of the 
artillery regiments. 

We opened the building with solemn pomp and ceremony 
in the presence of representatives of Division Headquarters. 
M. Michaud, the Mayor of the City, Colonel McCoy and 
many of the Chaplains and a large throng of officers and 
men. With this commodious building in addition to the 
quarters of the "Y" the matter of recreation for men ir 
town will be well looked after. 



June loth, 1918 
Our Division has taken over a new sector from the 
French just to the right of our Hne bordering on the sector 
occupied by the lowas and it is at present occupied by Major 
Donovan with Companies A and B of his battaHon. It has a 
picturesque name, *'The Hunter's Meeting Place — Rendez- 
vouz des Chasseurs/' and is even more picturesque than 
its name. There is a high hog-back of land jutting out to- 
wards the German line between deep thickly-wooded valleys. 
When this was a quiet sector the French soldiers in their 
idle time put a great deal of labor on it to make it com- 
fortable and attractive, and when I came out here a few 
days ago I could easily have believed it if told there was 
no such a thing as war, and that this whole place had been 
designed as a rustic semi-military playground for the young- 
er elements on some gentleman's country estate. The offi- 
cers' dugouts are against the side of the steeply sloping 
hill so that only the inner portion is really under ground, 
windows and doors on one side opening on terraces which 
have flower beds, strawberry plots, and devices made of 
whitewashed stones. 

We dine al fresco under the trees. An electric light plant 
is installed and I spent last night on the Major's bunk in- 
dulging an old habit of reading late. Donovan, like McCoy, 
always has some books with him no matter where he goes ; 
and I got hold of a French translation of "Caesar's Com- 
mentaries," with notes by Napoleon Bonaparte. 

I enjoy being with Donovan. He is so many-sided in 
his interests, and so alert-minded in every direction, and 
such a gracious attractive fellow besides, that there is never 
a dull moment with him. His two lieutenants, Ames and 
Weller, are of similar type; and as both are utterly devoted 
to him, it is a happy family. Ames takes me aside periodi- 
cally to tell me in his boyish, earnest way that I am the only 
man who can boss the Major into taking care of himself, 


and that I must tell him that he is doing entirely too much 
work and taking too great risks, and must mend his evil 
ways. I always deliver the message, though it never does 
any good. Just now I am not anxious for Donovan to 
spare himself, for I know that he has been sent here be- 
cause, in spite of its sylvan attractiveness, this place is a post 
of danger, so situated that the enemy could cut it off from 
reinforcements, and bag our two companies unless the strict- 
est precautions are kept up. 

Major Allen Potts, a genial and gallant Virginian, whQ 
is now in charge of the military police, has obtained per- 
mission to bring up one company of his M. P.'s to help our 
fellows hold the line. It is a good idea. The M. P. have 
a mean job as they have to arrest other soldiers for breach 
of regulations; and they are exposed to resentful retorts of 
the kind, "Where's your coat?" "Where you'll never go to 
look for it — out in No Man's Land.'* Nobody can talk that 
way to Major Potts's outfit. 

There was a gas attack last night on the French sector 
called Chapellotte on the edge of the bluff to our immediate 
right, and Donovan and I went over this morning to see 
the extent of the damage. As we climbed the steep hill 
to reach the French positions we met Matthew Rice of Com- 
pany A, who was in liaison with the French ; and he told us 
in the coolest way in the world a story of a sudden gas at- 
tack in the middle of the night, which put out of action 
nearly two hundred men, leaving himself and four or five 
Frenchmen the only surviving defenders of the hill. If the 
same thing were to happen at Chasseurs the Germans could 
easily follow it up and capture the whole outfit ; and I can 
see the reason for Major Donovan's ceaseless precautions. 


June 15th, 1918 
My principal occupation these days is visiting the hospi- 
tals, of which there are three in Baccarat. The Spanish! 


Influenza has hit the Division and a large number of the 
men are sick. The fever itself is not a terrible scourge, but 
when pneumonia follows it, it is of a particularly virulent 
type. Our deaths, however, have been few : John F. Dona- 
hoe of Company F, Richard J. Hartigan of Company I, 
Fred Oris wold of Machine Gun Company and Patrick A. 
Hearn of Company D, whose death had a particular pathos 
by reason of the sorrow of his twin brother who is in the 
same Company. All in all, we have been a singularly healthy 
regiment, ^whatever be the reason — some doctors think it is 
l)ccause we are a city regiment. We have been almost ab- 
solutely free from the "Children's Diseases" such as mumps, 
measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria, etc., which have played 
havoc with the efficiency strength of almost every other regi- 
ment in the Division. Occasionally replacements introduce 
some of those diseases, but they have never made any head- 
way. Since we left home our full total of deaths in a Regi- 
ment of thirty-six hundred men has been, outside of battle 
cases, just fourteen. John L. Branigan, of Company B, 
died in an English hospital. In the Langres area we lost 
Charles C. Irons, Company G; Edward O'Brien, Company 
M, and James Reed, Company E, by illness, and Sydney 
Cowley, Company G, by accidental shooting. Accidents 
were also the causes of the deaths of Corporal Winthrop 
Rodewald, Company H, Donald Monroe, Company F, and 
Daniel J. Scanlon of Company G, who also left a brother 
in the Company to mourn his loss. Louis King and Joseph 
P. Morris of Company I and George W. Scallon of Com- 
pany A died of meningitis. 

In this sector we have had just three battle losses. When 
Company G was in line, a direct hit of a German shell killed 
two of our old-timers, Patrick Farrell and Timothy Donnel- 
lan, and wounded Peter Bohan. Recently at Chasseurs, Cor- 
poral Arthur Baker, a resolute soldier, was killed while 
leading a daylight patrol in No Man's Land. Sergeant 
Denis Downing of Company G was killed by one of our own 
sentries who mistook him for a German. 



June i6th, 1918 
Donovan's men have been recalled from Chasseurs. The 
42nd Division has finished its preliminary education and is 
to start off for some more active front two days from 
now. We are to be relieved by the 77th Division, New 
York City's contribution to the National Army. Today 
while returning from a funeral I met two M. P.'s from that 
Division who were members of the Police Force at home. 
Met also two old pupils of mine, Father James Halligan 
and Lieutenant Arthur McKeogh. 


June 19th, 1918 
Yesterday was New York "Old Home Day" on the roads 
of Lorraine. We marched out from Baccarat on our hunt 
for new trouble, and met on the way the 77th Division, all 
National Army troops from New York City. It was a 
wonderful encounter. As the two columns passed each 
other on the road in the bright moonlight there were songs 
of New York, friendly greetings and badinage, sometimes 
good humored, sometimes with a sting in it. "We're going 
up to finish the job that you fellows couldn't do." "Look 
out for the Heinies or you'll all be eating sauerkraut in a 
prison camp before the month is out." "The Germans will 
find out what American soldiers are like when we get a 
crack at them." "What are you givin' us," shouted Mike 
Donaldson; "we was over here killin' Dutchmen before 
they pulled your names out of the hat." "Well, thank 
God," came the response, "we didn't have to get drunk to 
join the army." 

More often it would be somebody going along the lines 
shouting "Anybody there from Greenwich Village?" or 
"Any of you guys from Tremont?" And no matter what 
part of New York City was chosen the answer was almost 
sure to be "Yes." Sometimes a chap went the whole line 


calling for some one man: **Is John Kelly there?" the 
answer from our side being invariably, "Which of them 
do you want ?" One young fellow in the 77th kept calling 
for his brother who was with us. Finally he found him 
and the two lads ran at each other burdened with their 
heavy packs, grabbed each other awkwardly and just 
punched each other and swore for lack of other words un- 
til officers ordered them into ranks, and they parted per- 
haps not to meet again. At intervals both columns would 
break into song, the favorites being on the order of 

"East side. West side, 
All around the town. 
The tots sang ring-a-rosie 
London Bridge is falling down. 
Boys and girls together. 
Me and Mamie O'Rourke, 
We tripped the light fantastic 
On the sidewalks of New York. 

The last notes I heard as the tail of the dusty column swung 
around a bend in the road, were "Herald Square, any- 
where. New York Town, take me there." Good lads, God 
bless them, I hope their wish comes true. 


June 22nd, 1918 
Our first day's march brought us to Moyemont, our sec- 
ond a short hike to Moriville, where we are waiting to en- 
train at Chatel sur Moselle. I am billetted with the Cure 
and have sent Father McDonald, an old pupil of mine who 
has just been sent to me, to the 2nd Battalion. He is not 
well enough to stand what we will have to go through, so 
I have sent a telegram to Bishop Brent asking to have him 
kept for a time at some duty where he can regain his health. 
Now I have to turn my attention to the Cure, who is 
also an invalid. He is living here in this big, bleak stone 


house, with an old housekeeper who is deaf, and the big- 
gest, ughest looking brute of a dog I have ever seen. He 
is run down and dispirited. We Americans don't like that 
atmosphere so I started in to chirk him up. First I called 
in Dr. Lyttle, who pronounced the verdict that there was 
no reason why with rest and change and a new outlook on 
life he could not last for ten years. 

Today is Sunday and I told the lads in church that I 
wanted a collection to give a poor old priest a holiday ; and 
they responded nobly. For a second Mass I went down 
to McKenna's town and found a new device, a green sham- 
rock on a white back-ground, over the door of his battalion 
headquarters. His is to be known as the Shamrock bat- 
talion of the regiment. After Mass and another collectior 
I took breakfast with him. I had brought with me some 
money that Captain Mangan owed him. While I was at 
breakfast Mangan carre in himself, and in his presence I 
handed the money over to McKenna. "If I didn't have 
you around. Father, to threaten Mangan with hell-fire, I'd 
never get a cent of it." *'If you weren't such a piker you 
wouldn't keep a cent of it, now you've got it. You'd give 
it to Father Duffy for his poor old Cure." ''All right, I'll 
give it, and double it if you cover it." That meant forty 
dollars apiece for my nice old gentlemen. But McKenna 
was not satisfied. "Come on, Cassidy, come across," and 
the Lieutenant with a smile on his handsome face came 
across with more than any Lieutenant can afford. Mc- 
Kenna shouted to the others, "Come all the rest of you 
heretics; you haven't given a cent to a church since you 
left home," and with a w^hole lot of fun about it, every- 
body gave generously. I could not help thinking what a 
lesson in American broadmindedness the whole scene pre- 
sented. But the immediate point was that I was able to do 
handsomely for my old Cure. I went back to him, and 
from the different collections I poured into his hat in cop- 
per pennies, bits of silver, dirty Uttle shin-plasters and 
ten franc notes, the sum of two thousand francs. He was 


speechless. The old housekeeper wept ; even the dog barked 
its loudest. 

"I'm giving you this with one condition," I said. 
"Namely, that you spend it all at once." "But ma foil 
how can one spend two thousand francs in a short while. 
I never had so much money before in all my life." "Of 
course you can't spent it in this burg. I want you to go 
away to Vittel, to Nancy, to Paris, anywhere, and give 
yourself a good time for once in your life." "But the 
Bishop would never permit it. He has few priests left and 
cannot supply the parishes with them." "Well, he will 
have to do it if you're dead, and you'll be dead soon if 
you hang around here. Stay in bed next Sunday and have 
your parishioners send in complaints to the Bishop. Do 
that again the Sunday after, and by that time the Bishop 
will have to send somebody. Then you go off and spend 
that 2,000 francs on a suinmer holiday, and don't come 
back until you have spent the last cent of it." 

The old gentlemen gave a dazed assent to my entire 
scheme; but I am leaving here with little expectation that he 
will carry it all through. He may get a holiday from the 
Bishop, and he may spend a little of the money on it, but 
even if he lives for ten years I am willing to bet he will 
have some of our 2,000 francs left when he dies. In some 
ways it is a great handicap to be French. - 


June 27th, 1918 
On June 23rd we boarded the now familiar troop trains 
at Chatel sur Moselle, and before we were off them we had 
zig-zagged our way more than half the distance to Paris, 
going up as far as Nancy, down to Neuf chateau, north- 
west again by Bar-le-Duc, finally detraining on June 24th, 
at Coolus, south of Chalons-sur-]\Iarne. We are now in 
five villages along the River Coole. We have left Lor- 
raine at last and are in the province of Champagne. It is 


a different kind of country. The land is more level and 
less heavily wooded; the houses are built of a white, chalky 
stone with gray tiles instead of red ; and with outbuildings 
in the rear of them — ^with the result (for which heaven be 
praised) that the dung heaps are off the streets. The in- 
habitants strike us as being livelier and less worried, wheth- 
er from natural temperament or distance from the battle 
line, I do not know. The weather is beautiful and it is 
the joy of life to walk along the shaded roads that border 
the sleepy Coole and drop in on a pleasant company at 
mess time to share in their liveliness and good cheer. To- 
day it was a trip to St. Quentin with the Machine Gun 
Company. Johnnie Webb and Barnett picked me up on the 
road and formed my escort, leading me straight to the 
kitchen, where Sergeant Ketchum and Mike Clyne were 
making ready for the return of the hungry gunners. Lieu- 
tenant De Lacour wanted me to go to Captain Seibert's 
mess but I preferred by lunch on the grass with Milton 
Cohen, John Kenny, Ledwith, McKelvey, Murphy, Chester 
Taylor and Pat Shea. This is the kind of a war I Hke. 



July 2nd, 1918 
I LIKE this spot, but it' was a terrible place to get to. 
We got hurry-up orders to leave our pleasant villages on 
the Coole on June 26th! It was payday and some of the 
fellows had hiked it into Chalons and back to find some- 
thing to spend their money on. But it was "pack your 
kits and trek" for everybody. 

It was a beautiful soft June night. No moon, but the 
French highway rolled out before us dull white in the 
gloom, as if its dust were mingled with phosphorus. The 
men trudged along behind — joking and singing — it was the 
beginning of the march. After a couple of hours we en- 
tered Chalons, a dream city by night. Not a light was 
visible, but the chalk stone buildings showed dimly on 
either hand, and the old Cathedral, with the ravages of 
the French Revolution obscured by darkness, was more 
beautiful than in the day. But before we left that town 
behind, all the poetry had departed from it. It seemed to 
take hours and hours of hard hiking on uneven pavements 
before the wearying men found their feet on country roads 
once more. Nobody knew how far the column had to go, 
and every spire that marked a village was hailed with hope, 
and, I fear, cursed when the hope was unrealized. They 
had a weary night ahead before they reached their destina- 
tions. The headquarters found itself with Division Head- 
quarters in the Ferme de Vadenay, which is not a farm at 
^11, but some long low barracks on the Camp de Chalons. 



The nearest approach to a farmer I saw there was a French 
soldier, who carefully nursed a few cabbages to feed his 
rabbits. He was a Breton fisherman, who had gone to the 
war, and the war had touched his wits. As a younger 
man he had fished in the North Sea and was the only person 
I ever found who could confirm the existence of Captain 
George MacAdie's native town of Wyck. It was a great 
triumph for George, for my geographical skepticism had 
aroused a doubt as to whether he had ever been born at 

The Chalons plains set all 'of us old Border veterans go- 
ing again. The first comment was "Just like Texas.*' A 
broad expanse of flat brookless country with patches of 
scrimpy trees that surely must be mesquite. But I delight 
in it. There is a blue sky over it all, and the long reaches 
for the eye to travel are as fascinating and as restful as 
the ocean. In Texas the attraction is in the skies. Half of 
it is beautiful. The half you see by gazing at the horizon 
and letting the eye travel up and back till it meets the hori- 
zon again. But here the flat earth has beauties of its own. 
It is God's flower garden. The whole ground is covered 
with wild flowers — marguerites and bluets by millions 
and big clumps of violets as gorgeous as a sanctuary of 
Monsignori, and poppies, poppies everywhere. Colonel Mc- 
Coy gave me a copy of Alan's Seegar's poems with one 
marked Champagne, 19 15. Two lines of it are running 
through my head all day. 

The mat of many colored flowers 

That decks the sunny chalk fields of Champagne. 

Champagne. The word is a familiar one with other as- 
sociations. We had thought that the bottles grew on trees 
and that the thirsty traveler had but to detach the wire that 
held them. And behold it is a land as dry as Nebraska. 
There are no such vivifying trees, nor lowly vines, nor 
even abundant water. A vastly over-advertised country in 
the opinion of the present collection of tourists. 



July 7th, 1918 

Bois de la Lyre — Harp Woods since the 69th got here. 

We have arrived in two stages. We were to celebrate the 

4th of July in proper fashion with games and feasting. 

But there was not much with which to hold high revelry, 

I and the games were practically spoiled by an order to move. 
Anyway, our minds are on other things. I came on Terry 
O'Connor, sitting with his shirt open on account of the heat, 
busily cleaning his rifle. *'Man dear," I said, "Where is 
your patriotism ? Every man home has a flag in his button- 

, hole. I'm ashamed of you." "I've got me roifle" (patting 
it) "an' me Scafflers" (pointing to the brown string showing 
on his bared neck) ; "what more does a pathriot need?" 

We moved by night, as usual, but not far, to the ficole 
Normale de Tin The Normal School sounded big and fine. 
One expected a square two-story red brick building with 
white sandstone trimmings — but we found a collection of 
half underground iron covered dugouts, and all overground 
rough little board shacks. We would be happy there now 
for we find that this poetically named spot is some degrees 
less attractive. It looks as if somebody had put it up in a 
hurry because the cattle were out in bad weather. The 
Officers are in the sheds, the men out in what they call 
the Bois — which are probably thick enough for conceal- 
ment from an inquisitive aeroplane. But that is all we need 

, while this blessed weather holds. Sunny France had ceased 
to be the joke it was. 

And then, something seems to be doing at last. We 
who are in the know have been hearing tales of plans 
afoot — an attack on the Chateau Thierry salient at Chatil- 
lon-sur-Marne seemed to be the plan when we first reached 
these parts. The indications are now that the Germans 
are due for another inning and we are to meet them here. 
Anderson has gone up with the 2nd Battalion to hold the 
trenches with the French. Donovan and McKenna are in 
support. There is a big dugout in a knoll ahead of us — 


they call it a hill, just as in Atlantic City any place four 
feet above tide water is called a height — and we are to move 
there when action begins. I am sitting on top of it — have 
been here all this sunny afternoon reading a book the 
Colonel gave me, Gabriel Hanotaux on France under 
Henri Ouatre — and I certainly do not like the idea of 
spending my young life in a dugout P. C. during action. I 
am going to tell Colonel McCoy that my spiritual duties 
demand that I visit Anderson's Battalion. He says that 
he wants his Officers to enjoy this war — the only war most 
of them can hope to have. And I hate dugouts anyway. 

To get from Harp Woods to Chapel Woods you go 
north for about four miles through Jonchery to St. Hilaire 
le Grand — a bit of a village which to borrow from Vol- 
taire's remark about the Holy Roman Empire does not look 
particularly saintly nor hilarious nor grand. The Ohios 
are on the right of it, and our Company E just to the 
west with patches of blue Frenchmen dotted all around. 
Follow the Ancient Roman Way for a kilometer or two 
and you get to a patch of woods with tops of mounds 
showing through them as if large sized moles had been 
working there. It is marked on the map as Sub-sector 
Taupiniere in the Auberive sector. But we carry our 
names with us, and these bits of the soil of France are to 
be called while we inhabit them P. C. Anderson, P. C. 
Kelly, P. C. Prout and P. C. Finny; P.C, meaning "Post of 

I have spent the week with Anderson. He has his P. C. in 
an elephant hut — a little hole about five feet underground 
with a semi-circular roof of corrugated iron piled over with 
sand bags and earth, — enough to turn the splinters of a shell. 
I passed a couple of days with Captain Charles Baker of 
Com.pany E, who is over to the right, along the Suippes. 
Charles is all energy and business, as usual. And Lieutenant 
Andy Ellett came in one night quite peevish because the 
French had countermanded the orders for a patrol. Andy 
likes the scent of danger. At P. C. Baker I saw Jim Murray, 


whom I once started out for the priesthood. I spent a pleas- 
ant day wandering about on my lawful occasions among the 
men in the different positions, one of which I found very 
popular, as just there the Suippes had actually enough water 
for a man to take a decent bath in. At the proper time I did 
not fail to discover the Company Kitchen, located on the 
river bank in a charming spot. While doing justice to a 
good meal I discussed Mt. Vernon politics with Carmody 
and Vahey. 

The battalion is under French command. Colonel Ar- 
noux of the i i6th Infantry has us in immediate charge with 
General Gouraud in high command. Arnoux is an elderly 
patient kindly man with a lot of seasoned young veterans 
for officers and for Chaplain a big jolly Breton, whom the 
men adore. The regiment is not much higher in strength 
than our one battalion. Like all the regiments over here 
it has been worn down by constant fighting and the dif- 
ficulty of finding replacements. During the week they got 
something to show for the good work they have been 
doing the past three years — the much desired Fourragere, a 
bunch of knotted cords worn hanging from the left shoul- 
der. Our fellows call them ''pull-throughs," after the 
knotted cords they pull through their rifles when cleaning 
them. It was a very interesting ceremony. Our officers 
were invited to it and those of our enlisted men who wore 
the French Croix de Guerre. General Gouraud, a remark- 
able military figure with an added touch of distinction from 
his empty hanging sleeve and stiff leg — decorated the regi- 
mental colors while the officers invested the men with the 
coveted mark of distinction. The General reviewed his 
American Allies, each of the officers being introduced by 
Major Anderson. It was a formal affair until he came to 
our bunch of husky soldiers who wore no silver or gold 
insignia on their shoulders but carried on their breasts 
the red and green ribbon of the Croix de Guerre. Then 
you can see why every man in his army swears by him. 
No cannon fodder here, but interesting human beings. I 


liked him for it, and felt very proud of the men we had 
to show him — Corporals Hagan and Finnegan of Company 
F, Sergeants Coffey, Murray and Shalley of Company G, 
and Sergeants Jerome O'Neill and Gunther and Corporal 
Furey of Company H.* I was saying to myself, "General, 
you're an old soldier but you never saw better men." 

It was a good thing for all of us to have met the Gen- 
eral — a man that any soldier would be proud to fight un- 
der, but we were mighty careful not to tell him that a 
phrase from a famous order of his was a by-word amongst 
the American Officers under him. He had issued an ad- 
dress couched along the lines of the Napoleonic tradition 
in vigorous staccato phrases, preparing the hearts of his 
soldiers for resistance unto death. The translator had 
turned his last hopeful phrase, which promised them it 
would be a great day when the assault was broken, into 
English as "It will be a beautiful day." Many of the high- 
ups, both French and American, seem to think that the idea 
of a general assault along these lines in a direction away 
from Paris is a mare's nest of Gouraud's, but the debate 
always winds up with the unanimous chant, "Oh, it will be 
a beautiful day." At present we are not in the front line 
trenches, but in what are called the intermediate ones. 
The General's idea is to hold the front line with a few 
French troops who will make themselves as safe as possible 
against the vigorous shelling expected and withdraw behind 
our lines when the German Infantry make their attack. 
Then our fellows are to have the task of keeping goal. It's 
going to bring the battle right down to our doors, as the 
battalion and company headquarters are only one or two 
city blocks from where the hand to hand fighting will have 
to take place. 

I spend most of my time amongst the men and am very 
much interested in finding out how their minds react at 
the prospects of their first big battle. The other German 

♦These distinctions were won by men of the 2nd Battalion in a 
coup de tnam led by Lieutenants Ogle and Becker (also decorated) in 
the Baccarat Sector. 


drives against the British and the French have been so 
overwhelmingly successful that I was afraid the soldiers 
might think that whenever the Germans get started they 
were just naturally bound to walk over everything. I am 
delighted to find that these bits of recent history have not 
affected our fellows in the slightest. Jim Fitzpatrick of E 
Company expressed the feeling of everybody when he said : 
"Why would I be afraid ov thim? They're just Dootch- 
men, a'int they? and I never in me loife seen any four 
Dootchmin that I couldn't lick." I have often read state- 
ments by reporters about men being anxious to get into a 
battle. I never believed it. But I find now at first hand 
that here at least are a lot of men who are anxious to see 
Heinie start something. I tell them that I am desirous 
of getting into our first mix-up right here. This Division 
has started out hunting trouble and if we don't find it here 
they will keep us sloshing all over France until we run into 
it somewhere. 

They will have need of all their courage, for if this gen- 
eral attack is made it's going to be a tremendous one. The 
opinion of the French General staff seems to be that this 
line will not be able to hold. At any rate they have been 
making preparations with that contingency in view. The 
whole plain behind us is organized for defense with our 
other two battalions in rough trenches and the Engineers 
in reserve. I hear they are bringing up also a Polish Legion 
to take part in the support. They have Seventy-fives in 
position for direct fire on German tanks, and machine guns 
stuck everywhere with beautiful fields of fire across the 
sloping plain. Everything is so charmingly arranged, that 
I have a feeling that some of the people behind us have 
a sneaking hope that the Germans will sweep across the 
first lines so that they can be met by the pleasant little 
reception which is being prepared for them further back. 
However, I think that our friends back there are going to 
be disappointed unless the Germans can spare a Division 
or two to smother this battalion. Their orders are 'Tight 


it out where you are," which is Anderson's translation of 
Gouraud's phrase, "No man shall look back ; no man shall 
retreat a step." 

Gouraud means it; and Anderson means it. I take great 
pleasure in observing him these days. A young fellow yet, 
just 29, and fresh from civil life — but a born soldier, with 
the carefulness of a soldier in making plans and in looking 
after his men, and the hardness of a soldier in ruling and 
using men, and a streak of sentiment carefully concealed 
which is a part of the soldier's make-up. He has some 
Scotch in him by his name — a good thing for the Irish if it 
doesn't make them Scotch-Irish — but the military tradition 
in his bringing-up is on the Duffy side. It is interesting to 
me to see the elements of school training showing in a man's 
character and views. In his views of life, discipline and 
self-sacrifice, Anderson is a Christian Brothers' boy. I 
sometimes feel that old Brother Michael had more to do 
with the making of Major Anderson as I know^ him, than 
his own parents had. One result of his education had been 
what most people nowadays would consider a detriment — 
his devotion to duty is so sincere that it has produced the 
effect of despising publicity; this he carries to an extreme. 
Well, he may or may not win fame in this war, but one 
thing I know, that the soldiers of his Company or of his 
Battalion who alternately cursed and admired him during 
the period of training are delighted to have him over 
them in a fight and will unanimously rank him as one of 
the greatest soldiers this regiment has ever produced. 

Last night he and I made the rounds of all the trenches. 
General Gouraud had picked it as a probable night for the 
big attack, so we started around to get the men in right 
spirits for it. The Major's method was characteristic. 
As the bright moonlight revealed the men in their little 
groups of two or threes, the Major would ask, "What are 
your orders here?" The answer always came, quick as a 
flash, though in varying words, "To fight it out where we 
are, sir." "To let nothing make me leave my post, sir," 


and one, in a rich Munster brogue, "To stay here until 
we're all dead, sir." "Then, will you do it?" "Yes, sir/' 
Soldiers are not allowed to make speeches, but there's the 
most wonderful eloquence in all the world in the way a 
good man carries his shoulders and looks at you out of his 
eyes. We knew they would stick. I had my own few 
words to say to each of them, whether they were of the 
old faith or the new or no faith at all. We were two 
satisfied men coming back for we knew that the old regi- 
ment would give a good account of itself if the assault were 
made. The night passed uneventfully and this morning I 
was happy to have another Sunday for my own work. A 
French priest, a soldier in uniform (a hrancardier) , said 
Mass for Company F in the picturesque little soldier's 
chapel that gives the woods its name, and gave General 
Absolution and Communion, while I did the same in suc- 
cessive Masses for Company G and Company H, and the 
Wisconsin fellows. 

I have served notice on Anderson that unless he pro- 
duced some kind of a war in the next twenty-four hours I 
shall have to quit him. I had not been back to the Regimen- 
tal P. C. for nearly a week, so on Friday I told Joe 
Hennessey that I wanted him to come up with a side car 
and bring me down. The side car arrived yesterday morn- 
ing but with young Wadsworth running it. He had gotten 
impatient hanging around back there with prospects of a 
fight up front and he secured the privilege of coming up 
for me so as to get nearer for a while at least to the 
front line. It was a great pleasure to be at mess with 
Colonels McCoy and Mitchell once more — a mutual one 
evidently, for they both said that I had been too long 
away and would have to come back. I begged off until 
ifter Sunday. 

Starting back on foot I ran into Major Donovan, who 
is usual walked me off my feet. I had to visit every foot 
Df his position on both sides of the Jonchery road and I 
A^as glad when Major Grayson Murphy came along in a 


staff car and offered me a lift any place I wanted to go. 
Donovan and I are both fond of Major Murphy, so I told 
him I would go anywhere in the world with him so long as 
he delivered me from D. 

On our way back to P. C. Anderson the Corps Officer 
who was with him gave his opinion that judging by past 
performances the Germans should be able to advance at 
least one kilometer in the massed attack that was threat- 
ened. I didn't say anything but it gave me a shivery feel- 
ing, especially when I measured out a kilometer on one of 
Anderson's maps and wondered just what would have hap- 
pened to poor me by the time the gray mass of Germans 
would reach the point that the gentleman from the Staff 
had conceded them in his off-hand way. I needed the trip 
around the trenches for my own reassurance and I stretched 
myself out last night for a sleep with the comfortable feel- 
ing that the decision in this matter was in the hands of an 
aggregation of Irish stalwarts who care little for past per- . 
fcrmances or Staff theories. | 

We are going to celebrate tonight. Lieutenant Rerat is ' ' 
to bring over a few of the French Officers and the admir- 
able John Pleune is off scouring the countryside and the 
French canteens for something to celebrate with. 

July 14th, 1918 II :oo />. m. 

We are here in Kelly's iron shack. Lieutenant Tom 
Young, a thorough soldier and a good friend of mine, and 
old boy Finnerty and Harry McLean are waiting for th. 
bombardment. Everything that can be done for the men 
has been done. There remains the simplest task in the 
world, though often the hardest — waiting. 

Our litde Hands Across the Seas dinner was a joll} 
affair. Anderson had Kelly and myself for guests with hi.^ 
own staff; Keveny, Fechheimer and McDermott (Bud 
Philbin — God bless him for a fine youth — was just or 
dered back to the States and we miss him) ; and Lieutenan 
Rerat brought along two good fellows like himself — c 


French-Irish Frenchman named DeCourcy (his ancestors 
left France, on their mission to teach the EngHsh manners 
and become good Irishmen themselves, somewhere around 
1066, and one of their descendants came back to France 
with the Wild Geese after the Broken Treaty of Limerick) 
and a plump merry doctor whose name escapes me. The 
viands were excellent — considering. And Dan Mellett had 
done his noble best. Anyway, we made it a feast of song, 
that is, the others did. John Fechheimer (whom Heaven 
has sent us for our delight) has a complete repertoire, an- 
cient (dating back more than 10 years) and modern — 
College Songs, Irish Songs, Scotch Songs, Negro Songs, 
music hall ditties, sentimental ballads and modern patriotic 
stuff — Upidee and Mother Machree ; Annie Laurie and Old 
Black Joe; After the Ball and The Yanks are Coming. De 
Courcy received tremendous applause for 

The prettiest girl I ever saw 

Was suckin-a cidah sroo a sraw. 

When Rerat had explained the verbal niceties of the dic- 
tion, all joined with enthusiasm in the classic verse 
Oh the Infantry, the Infantry with the dirt behind their ears, 
The Infantry, the Infantry that laps up all the beers, 
The Cavalry, the Artillery and the blooming Engineers, 
They couldn't lick the Infantry in a hundred thousand years. 

We compelled the Major out of loyalty to his native 
heath to give us Down in the Heart of the Gas House 

Just then the Adjutant of Colonel Amoux stepped in to 
give us the news that the attack was certain and midnight 
the hour. So we toasted France and America and departed 
for a final inspection of positions. Everybody is as well 
fixed as he can be made and I have picked this as the han- 
diest central place to await developments. 

July 15th, 191 8 

It was 12 :04 midnight by my watch when it began. Na 

crescendo business about it. Just one sudden crash like an 


avalanche ; but an avalanche that v^as to keep crashing for 
five hours. The whole sky seemed to be torn apart with 
sound — the roaring B-o-o-o-m-p of the discharge and the 
gradual menacing W-h-e-e-E-E-Z of traveling projectiles 
and the nerve racking W-h-a-n-g-g of bursts. Not that we 
could tell them apart. They were all mingled in one deaf- 
ening combination of screech and roar, and they all seemed 
to be bursting just outside. Some one of us shouted, 
"They're off"; and then nobody said a word. I stood it 
about 20 minutes and then curiosity got the better of me 
and I went out. I put my back against the door of the 
hut and looked up cautiously to see how high the protecting 
sand bags stood over my head, and then I took a good 
look around. I saw first the sky to the south and found 
that our own guns were causing a comfortable share of 
the infernal racket. The whole southern sky was punctuat- 
ed with quick bursts of light, at times looking as if the cen- 
tral fires had burst through in a ten-mile fissure. Then when 
my ear became adjusted to the new conditions I discovered 
that most of the W-h-e-e-z-z were traveling over and be- 
yond, some to greet the invaders, some to fall on our own 
rear lines and back as far as Chalons. I crawled around 
the corner of the shack and looked towards the enemy. 
Little comfort there. I have been far enough north to see 
the Aurora Borealis dancing white and red from horizon to 
zenith; but never so bright, so lively, so awe-inspiring, as 
the lights from that German Artillery. 

I stepped inside and made my report to Lieutenant 
Young, who was busy writing. He called for a liaison man. 
Harry McLean — just a boy — stepped out of the gloom into 
the candle light. He looked pale and uneasy — no one of us 
was comfortable — but he saluted, took the message, made 
a rapid Sign of the Cross, and sHpped out into the roaring 
night. A liaison man has always a mean job, and gener- 
ally a thankless one. He has neither the comparative pro- 
tection of a dug-out or fox-hole under shelling, nor the 
glory of actual fight. Our lads— they are usually smart 


youngsters — were out in all this devilment the whole night 
and I am glad to say with few casualties. Every last man 
of them deserves a Croix de Guerre. 

I wanted to see Anderson. He was only 40 yards away 
by a short cut over ground. I took the short cut — we 
were not allowed to use it by day — and had the uncom- 
fortable feeling that even in the dark I was under enemy 
observation. It was the meanest 40 yards I had ever done 
since as a lad of 12 I hurried up the lane to my father's 
door pursued by an ever-nearing ghost that had my shoul- 
der in its clutches as I grasped the latch. But I went in 
now as then, whistling. Anderson and Rerat were there; 
They had a word of comfort to tell; that General Gouraud 
had planned to meet artillery with artillery and that our 
fire was bursting on the enemy forces massed to attack us 
in the morning. Just then a nearer crash resounded. The 
major spun in his chair and fell ; Rerat clasped his knee and 
cried, "Oh, Father, the Major is killed." The Major picked 
himself up sheepishly as if he had committed an indiscre- 
tion ; Rerat rubbed a little blood off his knee apologetically 
as if he had appeared with dirt upon his face at drill; and I 
expressed jealousy of him that he had gotten a right to an 
easy wound stripe. 

Just then a gas-masked figure opened the door and an- 
nounced that there were two wounded men outside. That 
came under my business and it was a relief to find some- 
thing to do. I followed the messenger — it was Kenneth 
Morford — one of two good lads the Morford family gave 
to the service. Around the comer I came on Jim Kane 
badly hurt in the legs. Kenneth and I lifted him and car- 
ried him with difificulty through the narrow winding trench 
to the First Aid Station where we left him with the 
capable Johnny Walker and went back for the second man. 
It was Schmedlein — his folks were parishioners of mine — 
and he had it bad. I was pufiling by now and blaming my- 
self that I had not followed Major Donovan's rules for 
keeping in condition. As I bent to the task I heard Phil 


McArdle's voice, "Aisy now, Father. Just give me a holt 
of him. SHther him up on my back. This is no work for 
the likes of you." I obeyed the voice of the master and 
slithered him up on Phil's back with nothing to do but 
help Jim Be van ease the wounded Hmb on our way to the 
dressing station. 

Corporal Jelley of H — a fine soldier — and Private Hunt 
of E — he had a cablegram in his pocket announcing the 
birth of his first born — had been killed by the shell that 
struck in front of our dugout, and my friend Vin Coryell 
wounded. We found later that some men of Company H 
who had been sent to the French for an engineering detail, 
had been killed — Corporal Dunnigan, whom I married at 
Camp Mills; Patrick Lynn, Edward P. Lynch, Albert 
Bowler, Russell W. Mitchel, Patrick Morrissey, James 
Summers, Charles W. O'Day and Waher M. Reilley. Com- 
pany G had also suffered losses during the bombardment: 
Paul Marchman, Theodore Sweet, Harold Cokeley, Pat- 
rick Grimes, Patrick Farley, killed; with Corporal Harvey 
J. Murphy and Charles J. Reilley fatally wounded. 

Around P. C. Anderson there was plently of shelling but 
no further casualties until morning broke. At 4:30 the 
firing died down after a last furious burst over our imme- 
diate positions. The French soldiers in front began to 
trickle back down the boyaiis to the defensive positions. 
Our men crawled out of their burrows, eager to catch the 
first sight of the enemy. A few wise old French soldiers 
stood by to restrain them from firing too soon, for in the 
half lights it is hard for an unaccustomed eye to discern 
the difference between the Poilu's Faded-coat-of-blue and 
the field gray of the Germans. Nearly an hour passed be- 
fore one of them suddenly pointed, shouting, "Boche, 
Boche!" The enemy were appearing around the comers of 
the approach trenches. Rifle and machine gun fire crackled 
all along the front. The Germans, finding that this was 
the real line of resistance, went at their job of breaking 
it in their usual thorough fashion. Their light machine 


guns sprayed the top of every trench. Minenwerfer shells 
and rifle grenades dropped everywhere, many of them be- 
( ing directed with devilish accuracy on our machine gun 
{• positions. Many of ours were wounded. Sergeant Tom 
! O'Rourke of F. Company was the first man killed and then 
I one of the Wisconsins. 

' That day the Badgers showed the fighting qualities of 
[ their totem. Several of their guns were put out of action 
at the outset of the fight, and practically all of them one 
by one before the battle was over. In each case Captain 
Graef, Lieutenant Arens and the other officers, together 
with the surviving gunners, set themselves calmly to work 
repairing the machines. Corporal Elmer J. Reider fought 
his gun alone when the rest of the crew was put out of 
I action, and when his giin met the same fate he went back 
j through a heavy barrage and brought up a fresh one. 
[ Privates William Brockman and Walter Melchior also dis- 
1 tinguished themselves amongst the brave, the former at 
I the cost of his life. There were many others like Melchior, 
[ who, when their gun was made useless, snatched rifles and 
|, grenades of the fallen Infantrymen and jumped into the 
1 fight. As specialists, they were too valuable to be used up 
i this way and an order had to be issued to restrain them. 
tj Sergeant Ned Boone, who knows a good soldier when he 
. sees one, said to me : 'Tather, after this I will stand at 
' attention and salute whenever I hear the word Wiscon- 
t sm. 

Our own Stokes Mortar men fought with equal energy 
and enthusiasm under Lieutenant Frank McNamara and 
Sergeants Jaeger and Fitzsimmons with Corporals John 
Moore, Gerald Harvey and Herbert Clark. They did not 
take time to set the gun up on its base plates. Fitzsimmons 
and Fred Young supported the barrel in their hands, while 
the others shoved in the vicious projectiles. The gun soon 
became hot and before the stress of action was over these 
heroic non-coms were very badly burned. 

During this interchange of fusillades the Germans were 


seen climbing out of the approach trenches and taking their 
positions for an assault on the whole line. 

They swept down on our trenches in masses seeking to 
overcome opposition by numbers and make a break some- 
where in the thinly held line. Grenades were their prin- 
cipal weapons — rifle grenades from those in the rear, while 
the front line threw over a continuous shower of stick gren- 
ades, or "potato-mashers.'* An exultant cry went up from 
our men as they saw the foe within reach of them. Many 
jumped on top of the trench in their eagerness to get a 
shot at them or to hurl an answering grenade. The assault 
broke at the edge of the trench where it was met by cold 
steel. It was man to man then and the German found who 
was the better man. The assaulting mass wavered, broke 
and fled. No one knew how it might be elsewhere, but 
here at least the German Great Offensive had lost its 
habit of victory. They were unconvinced themselves, and 
hastened to try again, this time in thinner lines. Again 
they were repulsed, though some of them, using filtering 
tactics, got up into places where their presence was dan- 
gerous. One of their machine gun crews had established 
themselves well forward with their light gun, where it was 
troublesome to the defenders, and an enemy group was 
forming to assault under its protection. Mechanic Timothy 
Keane came along just then in his peaceful occupation as 
ammunition carrier, which he was performing with a 
natural grouch. Seeing the opportunity, he constituted him- 
self the reserve of the half dozen men who held the posi- 
tion. He found a gun and grenades and leaped joyously 
into the fray ; and when the attacking party was broken up 
he called, "Now for the gun, min," and swarmed over the 
parapet. The others followed. The surviving Germans 
were put out of action and the gun carried off in triumph. 

Again and again the Germans attacked, five times in all, 
but each time to be met with dauntless resistance. By 
2 :oo in the afternoon the forces of the attacking Division 


was spent and they had to desist until fresh Infantry could 
be brought up. 

All this while and through nearly three days of the 
battle the enemy used another power which proved in the 
outcome to be more annoying than directly dangerous. We 
had often read of superiority in the air when our side had 
it. We were now to learn the reverse of the fine picture. 
The German planes for two days had complete mastery. 
They circled over our heads in the trenches, front and rear. 
They chased automobiles and wagons down the road. You 
could not go along a trench without some evil bird spitting 
machine gun bullets at you. I doubt if they ever hit any- 
body. It must be hard to shoot from an aeroplane. After 
the first day they ceased to be terrifying — in war one 
quickly learns the theory of chances — but the experience 
was always irritating, as if some malicious small boy was 
insulting one. And they must certainly have taken note of 
everything we did. Well, it was no comfort to them. 

When the Infantry assault was over the shelling began 
again. They put minenwerfer in the abandoned French 
trenches and threw over terrific projectiles into ours. They 
dropped a half dozen shells on Captain Front's F. C. and 
utterly ruined that humble abode. Front, with recollec- 
tions of his native Tipperary, said, "Yes, Father, I got 
evicted, but I never paid a penny of rent to any land- 

In spite of these events the issue of the day's battle was 
not in doubt after lo :oo o'clock that morning. There had 
been anxious moments before, especially when many ma- 
chine guns were put out of action and the call for further 
fire from our artillery met with a feeble response. I 
dropped in on Anderson. True to his motto, "Fight it out 
where you are," he was putting the last touches to his prep- 
arations for having his clerks, runners and cooks make the 
last defense if necessary. 

"Do you want some grenades. Padre?" was his ques- 


*'No, Allie," I said, "every man to his trade. I stick to " 


'Well here, then : this is my battalion flag,'' stroking the 
silk of the colors. ''If things break bad in the battle you 
will see that it don't fall into the hands of the enemy. Bum 
it up if it is the last thing you find time to do before you 


"All right, I shall look out for your flag. That is a 

commission that suits my trade." 

And I received what was to be his last bequest — if things 
went bad. I said no more, but in my ears was humming 
*'Down in the heart of the Gas House District in Old New 

They breed good men there. Over in Anderson's old 
Company E, now in the able hands of Captain Baker, there 
were a lot of Anawanda braves who met the attack with 
the same fiery zest as their comrades on the left, as I shall 
tell in its place. I was not long with Anderson when in 
sweeps Kelly as brisk and jaunty as if he were on his w^ay 
to the Fair at Kilrush in his native County Clare on a fine 
Saturday morning. 

''How are things going, Mike?" said the Major. 

"No trouble at all," said the Captain. "We've got them 

But there was still trouble ahead. All afternoon the 
trench mortar shells and whiz-bangs kept bursting in the 
whole sector, making the work of litter bearers and liaison 
men very difficult. Also the task of burying the dead, which 
Mr. Jewett of the Y's athletic department volunteered to 
superintend for me with the sturdy assistance of Corporal 
Michael Conroy of Company H. ""^ 

Company H was in support — the most thankless and dif- 
ficult sort of a job for any unit, whether Company, Regi- 
ment or Division. It is called upon for detachments which 
must go up under shell fire, and go in where the battle is 
hottest, and in unfamiliar surroundings. The unit generally 
gets little public credit for its share in the fight though 


military men know that it is a compliment to be held in 
support. It means that the Chief Commander has confi- 
dence that the smaller fractions into which it may have to 
be split are under well trained and competent leaders. 
However, nobody likes the job. Certainly big courageous 
Captain Jim Finn did not like it. He wanted to lead his 
own company in the fight and the H men would rather 
fight under their great hearted Captain than under any 
other leader in the world. That pleasure was denied them, 
but the Company surely did honor to the training and the 
spirit their Captain put into them. I saw a platoon going 
up the boyait with Lieutenant Wheeler, all of them flushed 
with the joy of action. ''Over the top with Fighting Joe,** 
called John O'Connor, from the words of Tom Donohue's 
song. Their services were needed often on the 15th to sup- 
port the gallant defenses of Companies F and G. 

On the morning of the i6th there was another furious 
assault. A whole German Battalion attacked one of the 
defense positions and for a time the situation looked seri- 
ous. Lieutenant Young of F was killed while organizing 
the resistance. Lieutenants Wheeler and Anderson of H 
and Sears of F took all kinds of chances in meeting the 
situation and were carried ofY wounded. Some parties of 
Germans managed to get up into the trench. Joe Daly, 
while carrying ammunition, almost ran into a German. The 
latter was the more excited of the two, and before he could 
recover his wits, Daly had snatched a rifle which was lean- 
ing against the trench, whirled it over his head like a shil- 
lelah, and down on the German's skull. Then he ran into 
the middle of the fight. 

Sergeant Bernard J. Finnerty and Corporal Thomas 
Fitzgerald of H saw a group of Germans who had en- 
sconced themselves in an angle of the approach trench 
whence they were doing terrible damage with their potato 
mashers. Michael Tracy, a crack shot, who had done great 
work that day with his rifle, made a target of himself 
trying to find a better spot to shoot from, and got wounded. 


But they had to be dislodged. So Finnerty and Fitzgerald 
rushed down the trench, hurled over hand grenades into 
the party, and destroyed it — ^but at the cost of their own 
heroic selves. John F. O'Connor, Mechanic of Company 
O, jumped on the parapet to get a position to bomb out a 
machine gun crew which were sheltered in a hollow. He 
drove them into the open where our own machine guns 
settled them. 

The places of the wounded Lieutenants of H Company 
were taken by Sergeants Eugene Sweeney and Jerome and 
William O'Neill (two of "The three O'Neills of Company 
H" ; the third, Daniel, being First Sergeant, was with Cap- 
tain Finn). In Company F Sergeants Timothy McCrohan 
and Thomas Erb with Corporals James Brennan and John 
Finnegan led the fighting under Captain Kelly and Lieu- 
tenants Marsh and Smith. Bernard Finnegan and Matt 
Wynne refused to quit when badly wounded. William 
Cassidy, Company Clerk, who could not content himself 
with • that work while the fight was on, and Corporal 
Michael Leonard, an elderly man who had volunteered 
when men with a better right to do so were satisfied to 
wave the flag — these too won great renown. They and the 
others routed the enemy out of the trenches, following them 
over the top and up the boyaits. Cassidy and Leonard 
were killed, and my old time friend. Sergeant Joe O'Rourke 
of H, and many another good man. Sergeant William 
O'Neill was wounded, but kept on fighting, till death 
claimed him in the heat of the fray. His brother, Jerome, 
still battled valiantly and he was always worth a hundred 

Eugene Sweeney was twice wounded and refused to re- 
tire till the enemy was chased utterly from the field. When 

* The three O'Neills and Bernard Finnerty as also Sergeant Spillane 
of Machine Gun Company came from the town of Bantry. "Rebel 
Cork" added new leaves to its laurel wreath of valor in this battle on 
the plains of Champagne. 


his wounds were dressed he insisted on returning to the 

Corporal John Finnegan had been wounded in the leg the 
day before. He tied a bandage around the wound and 
stayed where he was. He was with Lieutenant Young 
when that leader was killed and ran to avenge him. A 
shell burst near him and he was hurled in the air, falling 
senseless and deaf. I saw him in the First Aid Station, 
a little way back, where he had been carried. The lads 
there had ripped up his breeches to re-bandage his earlier 
wound. He was just coming to. They told me he was 
shell shocked. "Shell shocked, nothing," I said. *'A shell 
could kill John Finnegan, but it could not break his nerves." 
Just then he got sight of me. "There's nawthin' the matther 
with me, Father, exceptin* that I'm deef. They got the 
Lootenant and I haven't squared it with thim yet. I'm 
e^oin' back." I told him he must stay where he was at least 
till I returned from the Battalion Dressing Station, which 
was 500 yards down the old Roman Road. 

Going out I saw Marquardt, Hess and Kleinberg carry- 
ing a litter. I offered to help and found it was Dallas 
Springer, a dear friend of mine since Border days, now 
badly wounded. We got him with difficulty down the 
>helled road to the Battalion Dressing Station where I 
found the Surgeons, Doctors Martin, Cooper and Landri- 
^an working away oblivious of the shells falling around. 
Landrigan had been out most of the night of the big 
bombardment arranging for the evacuation of the wounded. 
[ put Dallas down beside Michael Leonard, a Wisconsin lad 
named Pierre, and Harold Frear, a slim, plucky lad whom 
we. had rejected at the Armory for underweight when he 
applied for enlistment just a year ago, but who had pestered 
as all till we let him by. I was told that Lester Snyder of 
Dur Sanitary Detachment had been brought in nearly dead, 
a martyr to his duty, having gone out to bandage the 
wounded under heavy fire. It was a consolation to me to 


recall tlie devout faces of all five of them as I gave them 
Communion a day or two before. 

Between looking after these and others who kept coming 
in it was a good while before I got back to the First Aid 
Station in the trenches and John Finnegan was gone. They 
had kept him for some time by telling him he was to wait 
for me. But after a rush of business they found John 
sitting up with a shoe lace in his hand. '*Give me a knife," 
he said, "I want to make holes to sew up my pants." Johnny 
Walker had mine but he wouldn't lend it. "Lie down and 
be still." ''AH right," said Finnegan, "I have the tools 
God gave me." He bent his head over the ripped up 
breeches and with his teeth tore a few holes at intervals in 
the hanging flaps. He carefully laced them up with the 
shoe-string, humming the while "The Low Back Car." 
Then he got up. "Where's me gun?" "You are to wait 
for Father Duffy. He wants to see you." "Father Duffy 
done all for me I need, and he'd be the last man to keep 
a well man out of a fight. Fm feeling fine and I want me 
gun. Fm going back." He spied a stray rifle and seized 
it. "Keep out of me way, now, I don't want to fight with 
the Irish excipt for fun. This is business." So wounded, 
bruised, half deaf, John Finnegan returned to battle. Im- 
mortal poems have been written of lesser men. 

The attacks on the position of Company G were not so 
bitter and persistent as Company F had to sustain. The 
G men felt rather hurt about it, but their genial Captain 
smilingly tells them that it was because the enemy know 
they could never get a ball through where G Companv 
soldiers kept the goal. On the 1 5th the enemy certainly gc 
a taste of their quality. A strong attack pushed in at a 
thinly held spot and were making off with a machine gun. 
Lieutenant Ogle mustered his platoon, sped over the top 
and down upon the enemy with grenades and cold steel. 
A short sharp fight ensued. The gun was carried back 
with shouts of laughter and in a few moments was barkin? 
with vicious triumph. Sergeant Martin Murphy, Cor 


porals John Farrell, Michael Hogan and Thomas Ferguson 
— four soldiers of the jolly, rollicking Irish type, were 
Ogle's mainstays in this dashing fight. Lieutenant Boag 
was wounded, but his platoon was ably handled by Ser- 
geant John McNamara. 

When Front's dugout was smashed to pieces by shell fire, 
Sergeant Martin Shalley, who is the very type and pattern 
of the Irish soldier, took charge of the rescue work and 
dug out the buried men in time to save their lives. An- 
other shell destroyed the kitchen of Cook William Leaver. 
Thus relieved from his peaceful occupation he got himself 
a gun and belt and ran out into the fight garbed in his blue 
overalls. Michael Foody, tiring of being made the cockshot 
of aeroplanes which were flying low over the trenches, de- 
termined to try reprisals, and leaning back against the 
trench, began to discharge his automatic rifle in the direc- 
tion of one that was particularly annoying to him. It was 
a long chance, but before he had emptied his feeder he had 
the joy of seeing the plane wabbling out of control and 
finally making a bad landing back of the German lines. 

Corporal John G. Moore lived up to the best traditions 
of his gallant Company. He had been wounded but re- 
fused to go back. Later his post was suddenly occupied by 
half a dozen Germans. They called upon him to surrender, 
but Moore does not know that word in German or in any 
other language. He says he took it to mean a command 
to fire, so he started to put hand grenades over the plate 
and the two Germans that were left made quick tracks for 
the exit gate. Moore's delivery is hard to handle. Alfred 
Taylor also proved his mettle by sticking to his post when 
wounded and insisting furthermore on joining a raiding 
party the same day. 

Raiding parties were G Company's stock in trade. Lieu- 
tenants Ogle and Stout revel in them. They were out at 
night looking for the trouble that did not come their way 
often enough by day. One of these patrols fell upon what 
they called a bargain sale and ''purchased" new German 



boots and underwear for the whole Company. John Ry; 
got left behind in one of these raids and had to lie for twi 
days in a shell hole with Germans all around him. He 
finally got back with valuable information concerning move- 
ments of the enemy. 

Further to the east and separated from the other com-^ 
panics by a battalion of the loth Chasseurs v^as Company 
under Captain Charles D. Baker. During the bombar 
ment only one man, Michael Higgins, was killed. The a 
tacks of the enemy on the next two days were of the filte 
ing kind, and were easily repulsed, George McKeon beiuj 
the only man slain. 

By th6 1 8th they began to grow weary of these trivi 
actions and Captain Baker ordered two platoons to g 
a raiding. The first platoon, under Lieutenant Andrew L. 
Ellett and Acting-Sergeants Malloy and McCreedy, went up 
the hoyau on the left. They had not gone a quarter of a 
mile when they saw Germans in a trench. Douglas Mac- 
Kenzie, in liaison with the French, reported them as gather- 
ing for an attack. The Lieutenant climbed out of the trench 
to get a better view, and Matt Cronin got out behind him 
with his automatic rifle to start things going. Some of 
the enemy were in plain view and Cronin's weapon began 
pumping merrily. The enemy responded and he received 
a wound. The fight was on. It was a grenade battle. Our 
men rose to it with the same zest they had shown when 
they fought their boyish neighborhood fights, street against 
street, in Tompkins Park or Stuyvesant Square. But this 
was to the death. Both Sergeant Malloy and Archie Skeats 
took that death in their hands when they caught up Gennan 
grenades out of the ditch and hurled them back at the 
enemy. Lieutenant EUett's men were far from their base 
of supplies. Three times they fell back along the hoyau 
as their ammunition ran out; and three times with fresh 
grenades they advanced to meet the foe. The Lieutenant 
was wounded, but a hole or two in him never mattered to 
Andy Ellett. He withdrew his men only when he felt he 



fiad done all that was necessary. Then he handed over his 
charge to Sergeant Frank Johnston, a warrior every inch, 
who had joined up with Anderson's old company for the 
war because he knew Anderson of yore. He had fought 
with him many a time in the Epiphany Parish School. 

The other platoon was commanded by Lieutenant Tarr 
with William Maloney and Michael Lynch as Sergeants. 
Dick O'Connor, who always went to battle with song, was 
the minstrel of the party, his war song being "Where do we 
go from here, boys?" John Dowling, Cowie, Joyce, Gavan 
and McAleer went ahead to scout the ground. They passed 
through some underbrush. Suddenly they flushed two Ger- 
mans. Dowling fired and shouted, "Whirroo me buckos, 
here's our mate.'* His cry was answered by Maloney, a 
mild-mannered Celt, who knows everything about fighting, 
except how to talk of it afterwards. Lieutenant Tarr gave 
the order and led his whole platoon over the top across 
the level ground and up to the trench where the Germans 
held the line. It was grenades again and hand to hand 
fighting on top of it. A party of the Germans fled to the 
left. They heard the battle of Ellett's platoon from there 
and they turned with upthrown hands and the cry **Kam- 
erad." Dowling helped the first one out of the trench 
by the ear. "Aisy now, lad, and come along with me. 
The Captain is sitting fominst the blotter to take your pedi- 
gree." Back went most of the platoon with the prisoners, 
their mission accomplished. Eleven prisoners had been 
taken and fifty Germans left dead upon the field. But the 
never satisfied Maloney elected himself to cover the retreat 
with Hall, Breen and Hummell; and with such a leader 
they kept battling as if they were making a Grand Ofifensive 
until they were ordered to withdraw. 

I have been to the Third Platoon of Company E and 
everybody talked about that patrol at once. Everybody 
except Maloney. But everybody else was talking about Ma- 
loney. I looked around to see what Maloney would have to 


tell. And I found no Maloney. Maloney had fled, sick of 
hearing about Maloney. 

This was practically our last shot in the battle. The 
German attack had evidently come to a complete stand- 
still. They even lost their command of the air on the 
afternoon of the 17th, when a fleet of British aeroplanes 
had come along and driven them to cover. On our part 
we were preparing to become the aggressors. The 3rd 
Battalion was being brought forward to relieve the 2nd, 
and to take command of both came our good old Lieutenant 
Colonel, jaunty and humorous as always in a fight and 
without a worry except as to whether he and I had enough 
smokes to last. All care vanished when my orderly, Little 
Mac, sneaked up from where I had left him in the rear, 
bringing two cartons of cigarettes. 

Today we received definite word of what had happened 
meanwhile in the support Battalions. During the bombard- 
ment, young Wadsworth was killed at Headquarters, and I 
lost other good friends in Company B — Sergeant Harry 
Kieman, as good a man as he looked, and that is a great 
compliment; Arthur Viens, one of my own parish lads, 
and Joseph Newman, and Archie Cahill, mortally wounded. 
Louis Cignoni of Company C and Sam Forman of the 
Machine Gun Company were also killed. Sergeant Charles 
Lanzner of Company A was killed while doing brave work 
as a volunteer carrying a message to Company B under the 
fearful cannonading. The Polish Battalion also had met 
with a savage reception that night. 

The French gave news that the enemy was held in every 
part of the long front, with the exception of a portion of 
the line around Chateau Thierry and running up the north- 
east side of the salient. The old Rainbow had not a single 
dent in it. I got our fellows stirred up by telling them; 
that they had gone and spoiled one of the loveliest plans that 
had ever been prepared by a General Staff. *'What do you 
mean, spoil their plans? All we spoiled were Germans!" 
'That's just the trouble. The men who planned this battle 


did not really expect you to stick, and they were all ready 
to give the Germans a terrible beating after they had 
walked throu'gh you and gotten out into the open space. 
The trouble was that you fellows did not know enough to 
run away, and the Generals finally had to say, 'We shall 
have to scrap our beautiful plans and fight this battle out 
where those fool soldiers insist on having it fought.' " 

Around midnight we were told that we would be relieved 
by morning. Why ? No one knew. Where were we going ? 
No one knew. The French were to take our place. They 
were slow in coming. We wanted to be away before sun- 
rise or the enemy would have a fine chance to shell our 
men as they made their way over the plains. I waited 
the night there in Kelly's shack, impatient for the relief to 
come ere dawn. Finally the Poilus, their blue uniform al- 
most invisible by dark, iDCgan to appear. I started off with 
Mr. Jewett down the road to St. Hilaire. We picked up 
Bill Neacy with a Headquarters detachment, and found a 
back road down to Jonchery. I watched for the dawn and 
German planes, filled with anxiety for our withdrawing 
columns. But dawn came and no shelling, and shortly 
afterwards I fell into the kindly hands of Major Donovan, 
and soon good old John Kayes and Arthur Connelly had a 
beefsteak on the fire for us. The 2nd Battalion came drift- 
ing in in small parties, and reported everybody safe. Then 
I saw Pat Kinney and knew that the Colonel was some- 
where about. He had come out to look after his men. I 
certainly was glad to see him, and I got the reception of a 
long lost brother. He bundled me into his car, and in a 
short time had me wrapped in his blankets and taking a long 
deferred sleep in his cot at Bois de la Lyre. 


July 2ist, 1918 

We packed up our belongings in the Bois de la Lyre on 

July 20th and went to this town of Vadenay. Colonel 


McCoy had a ceremony that afternoon which shows one 
reason why we are so devoted to him. I had written up 
the recommendations for citations furnished by Company 
Commanders during the recent battle ; and the Colonel, fear- 
ing they might not go through, embodied them in a regi- 
mental citation and read them to the assembled soldiers. It 
was fine and stimulating; the 2nd Battalion is as proud as if 
it had won the war and the others are emulous to equal its 

I went back to my billet and found a visitor who an- 
nounced himself as Father James M. Hanley of the Diocese 
of Cleveland. I remembered the name. I received a letter 
some two months ago, a fresh breezy letter, full of the un- 
restrained impatience of a young priest who had come over 
to take part in the war and had landed in an engineer outfit 
not far from a base port. He appealed to m^e as an old- 
timer to tell him how to beat this mean game. I answered 
and told him what to say to Bishop Brent, and Bishop 
Brent, nothing loth, had sent him to me for the 42nd 
Division. The more I talked with the new Chaplain the 
more 69th he looked to me ; so I said to him : "I am going 
to keep you with me. Father McDonald is in ill-health and 
has orders for a new assignment. We shall have a big 
battle in a week or two and we shall need two men because 
there is a good chance of one of us being bumped off. 
Major Anderson's battalion will very probably be in re- 
serve so you report to Major McKenna and tag along with 
him. I shall tie up with Major Donovan." 

The next day was Sunday. It was the first day the 
whole regiment was in one place since we left Camp Mills. 
There was a beautiful church in the town and I announced 
four masses with general absolution and communion with- 
out fasting. In all my life I never saw so many men at 
communion in one day. The altar rail was too narrow to 
accommodate them, so we lined them up on their knees 
the length of the aisle, and two priests were kept busy 
passing up and down giving communion. The non-Catb- 


olics we took in groups near their companies and had brief 
exhortation and silent prayer. 

I never use the motive of fear in talking to soldiers about 

I religion because it does not suit with their condition, and 

• anyway I can get more substantial results without it. But 

the government and the army believes in preparedness for 

i death, as is shown by their ambulances and hospitals and 

l pensions. I believe in spiritual preparedness ; so too, do the 

\ men. I am happy to think that my own charges are well 

prepared. May the grace of God be about them, for I feel 

we are in for a big fight. 

One thing sure, they are not afraid of it. Coming in to 
A^adenay I saw Amos Dow, a stripling youth of Company 
K, just back from the hospital after four months of ab- 
sence — he was terribly gassed last March and his condi- 
tion then had me much worried. He was still looking none 
too well. 

"What brought you back/' I asked. "You are not fit 

for this kind of work yet." 

"Well, they did offer me other jobs, but I wanted to be 

I with my own outfit, and I wanted to get a Dutchman after 

what they did to me, and I was sick of hearing the Marines 

talk about how good they are. I want to get into a first 

i' class battle with this Division like you've been through 

while I was coming up, and when I meet those birds from 

the Marines, Fll have something to say to them.'* 

"You're a blood-thirsty youth. But far be it from me to 
stop you. It's your trade. But you can't carry a pack, so 
I'll fix it up to make it easy for you." 

"Joe," I called to Sergeant Flannery, "I want you to get 
Captain Mangan and Lieutenant Kinney to adopt this 
savage child in the Supply Company for a week or two. 
See that he gets up where he can smell powder, but without 
too much hiking, and then give him his belt and rifle and 
let him go to it." 

"I had better get a lariat and a picket pin and tie him 
up/' growled Joe. 


He was right. By morning the lad was gone off with 
Company K. He was afraid I would spoil his chance for a 

The survivors of our 2nd Battalion are camped in a 
wooded island in the stream and I spent the afternoon with 
them. The weather was delightful and they were enjoying 
a lounging, lazy, gossipy day, which is the one compensa- 
tion for being in the Infantry — the artillery have fewer 
killed, but their work never lets up. I went amongst them 
to pick up incidents for my narrative. One of the first 
things I found was that the recent battle had given them in- 
creased confidence and respect for their officers. A Com- 
pany F man said to me : "I'll take back anything I ever 
said about Captain Mike. At Baccarat he had me fined two- 
thirds of three months pay for taking a drink too much 
and I said that if I had the job of rigging him up for a 
night patrol, I'd like to tie bells around him and put a lan- 
tern on his head.'* 

My first visit was to Company H, which had been the 
greatest sufferer. In addition to the names I have already 
cited, one of the most frequent on all men's lips was that of 
Dudley Winthrop. Dudley is a fine youth and one of my 
best friends. I tell him that he has a name like a movie 
actor, but he says he can bring around two cousins of his 
named Connelly from Company G to prove that he belongs 
to the Fighting Race. I hope he gets the Croix de Guerre 
he has been put in for, for he certainly deserves it. Patrick 
J. Dwyer, William Gordon and Daniel Marshall are also 
cited by their fellows for sticking it out while wounded, 
with Thomas McDermott, who was tagged for the hospitaj 
and refused to go. High praise also for Martin Higgins (a 
bom fighter) and Andrew Murray, Dan McCarthy, Ser- 
geant Val. Dowling, William Smythe, Sammy Kleinberg, 
whom I saw going around all week cheerfully carrying 
the wounded with the clothes burned off his back by a mis- 
directed flare; Tom Heaney, Robert Cooper, Michael 
Keams, James O'Brien, John Thornton, John A. Fred- 


ericks, Donald Gillespie, John F. Lynch, Joseph Mattiello, 
with cooks Pat Fahey and Gorman, Timothy Walsh, Peter 
Breslin, John J. Walker, Charles Rogan, Michael Higgins, 
Dennis Kerrigan, James Guckian, John J. McCormack, 
James Todd, John Kelly, Frank Garvin, Lawrence Far- 
rell. Bill Fleming, Charles Klika, William McNamee, James 
Merrigan, John Maher, Harold Avery, Patrick Connors, 
John P. Furey, Frank Condit, Robert McGuiness, John 
Higgins, James Keane, Patrick Travers, Thomas Slevin, 
John Ryan, John and James French, Bruno Guenther, Dan- 
iel Dayton, Frank Doran, Charles Ziegler. The men who 
were on the digging detail that had such heavy loss'^s in the 
bombardment praise the coolness and solicitude for their 
safety of Lieutenants Becker and Otto. 

' Company G talked most about their Captain, the serenest 
pleasantest, and most assuring person in the world in time 

, of trial and danger. Also Lieutenants Ogle and Stout, 

! Norris and Joseph Boag, who was wounded in the fray. 
I myself had seen Carl Kemp of the same Company on 

jl duty at Battalion Headquarters standing through the bom- 

' bardment on the top of the parapet on his duties as look- 
out. Sergeant Jim Coffey, wounded and still fighting ; and, 
in the same class, Ralph Holmes and John Flanigan ; James 
Christy, working his automatic from the top of the 
trench; Dennis Roe, always a good soldier in a fight; 

I Sylvester Taylor and Joseph Holland, liaison men; 

j. Sergeants Jim Murray, Edward McNamara, Thomas T. 

! Williamson and Frank Bull, Mess Sergeant Hugh Lee; 

I James Henderson, Thomas Gallagher, William McManus, 
Michael Hogan, William Carroll, Morris Lemkin, Dennis 
O'Connor, John McNamara, John Conroy, Frank McNiff, 
Joseph P. Alnwick, Patrick Burke, Patrick Duffy, David 
Fitzgibbons, Angelo Dambrosio, James Keavey, Nicholas 
Martone, Lawrence Redmond, James Ryan and John Ryan, 
the Hans brothers; Thomas Slevin, Herbert Slade, James 
Walsh, Allen, Henry Curry and John Fay as Company 
liaison ; Arthur Ayres, George Murray, Herman and Lyons 


as litterbearers ; Louis Mugno, Maurice Dwyer, Patrick 
Keane, Charles McKenna, James Elliott, mechanics; Mich- 
ael Hogan, Patrick Burke, young O'Keefe, Robert Mona- 
han, Frank Garland; and, to end with a good old Irish 
name, Mack Rosensweig. I know he'll be with us if we 
ever get a chance to go over and free Ireland, and he'll 
be a good man to take along. 

In Company F it was all praise for Captain Mike and 
praise and regrets for Lieutenant Young. I did not need 
to have them tell me anything about their liaison group, 
as I saw them at work — from the Corporal in charge, John 
H. Cooke, who, though wounded, stuck at his job, to Harry 
P. Ross, John J. Carey, Leon Duane, John Gill, William 
Crimson, Harry McLean. Sergeant Major Michael J. 
Bowler did good work looking after the wounded. Tom 
Kenney carried in Lieutenant Anderson and I saw James 
Bevan do good service in the same line; also Marquardt, 
Coble, Gray and Harry Rubin. First Sergeant Joseph 
Blake was a cool leader, as also Charles Denon, Leo Mc- 
Laughlin, and Tim McCrohan. Of those who were 
wounded and stuck, the name of Sergeant Eugene Cunning- 
ham was mentioned, as also John Butler, Edward Callan, 
John Catterson, Albert Curtis and James Brennan. Pat 
Frawley (one of the best soldiers the regiment ever had), 
was wounded and stuck, was knocked senseless and still 
stuck. Others who distinguished themselves in hand to 
hand fighting were Patrick McGinley,' Peter Sarosy, Thomas 
McManus, Malcolm Joy, always lively in a fight; and on 
the Roll of Honor the popular vote placed Sergeant Phil 
Gargan, whose kitchen was ruined ("wounded at Luneville, 
killed in Champagne," said Phil) ; James P. McGuinn, Os- 
car Youngberg, William Gracely, Hugh Haggerty, Lewis 
Edwards, Michael Gettings, Joseph McCarthy, John J. Ty- 
son, James Moran, Edward Moore, James Kelly, Cornelius 
Behan, Ned Boone, James Branigan, Tom Cahill, James 
Coogan, Joseph Coxe, Morris Fine, Dick Leahy, Nat Rouse, 


and, to end once more with a good Irish name, "Pat" 

Company E added to my extended list the names of 
James A. Donohue, Walter Bowling, Ray Dineen, and 
most of all, Fred Gluck, who rendered heroic service as lit- 
ter bearer. At Headquarters the Colonel himself spoke en- 
thusiastically about the good work of young Joe Hennessy, 
who was on the road at all times on his motorcycle, oblivi- 
ous of danger even after being wounded. I found that 
Company M was carrying Corporal Dan Flynn as A. W. 
O. L. on its records. Dan had gone up to the Second Bat- 
talion on paper work and finding that a fight was on he got 
himself a rifle and stayed there till it was over. 

We are all well satisfied with the spirit of every man in 
the regiment during the last fight. I had but one recom- 
mendation to make to Colonel McCoy. The Company litter 
bearers are left to the selection of the Captains. Now the 
Captains are chiefly interested in front line work and they 
refuse to spare a good rifleman for any other task. But 
the litter bearers have a task which is most trying on 
morale and physiqile, and it will not be easier if it comes to 
open warfare, where they will have to stand up when the 
fighting men lie in shell holes. The litter bearers acquitted 
themselves well in this fight, but I feel strongly that noth- 
ing is too good for the wounded. I want the Colonel to 
insist that one man in every four be a picked man who 
will go and keep the others going on their work of human 
salvage until every man drops in his tracks. I would select 
in every four men one of our solid Irish, of the kind that 
with death all around, hears nothing but the grace of God 
purring in his heart. 


July 24th, 19 18 

Sur Mame — there is magic in that. I have always 
wanted to see the Old Regiment add the name of that river, 


so full of martial associations, to the history-telling silver ; 
furls on its colors. We are not in battle yet. Nothing : 
could be more peaceful than the scenes in which we live, . 
if one shuts one's eyes to uniforms and weapons. The. 
broad, silvery Marne forms a loop around the little village • 
and the commodious modem chateau (ow^ned, by the way, , 
by an American), in which we live. We revel in our new,' 
found luxury. Following a motto of this land, "We take . 
our good where we find it." I got a variation of that as I 
came into the lordly halls and stood staring around me. ' 
Sergeant Major Dan O'Connell gave a signal like an Or- ; 
chestra Leader to the Adjutant's Office Force and McDer- j 
mott, O'Brien, Jimmy Canny, White, Monahan, Farrell, 
Whitty, with Dedecker and Dietz joining in, sang deliber- i 
ately for my benefit, 'There's nothing too good for the.;- 
I-i-i-rish." A sentiment which meets with my hearty ap- 

A diary is a sort of magic carpet ; it is here, and then it i 
is there. Three days ago we hiked it from Vadenay to the ! 
nearby station of St. Hilaire-au-Temple where we entrained i 
for parts to us unknown. Our 2nd Battalion and the Wis- 
consins, which formed one of the sections, had the mean 
end of a one-sided battle while waiting at the station. The 
German bombing planes came over and started dropping!; 
their "Devil's eggs." C-r-r-unch! C-r-r-unch! C-r-r-unch!h 
the face of the earth was punctured with deep holes that' 
sent up rocks and smoke like a volcano in eruption ; the 
freight shed was sent in flying flinders, but the train w^as i . 
untouched. Animals were killed, but no men. 

"We don't know where we're going but we're on our 
way" might be taken as the traveling song of soldiers. 
We dropped down to Chalons, crossed the river, going first 
in a south-easterly direction to St. Dizier, then southwest to 
Troyes, and rolling through France the whole night long 
we came in the morning as near Paris as Noisy-le-Sec, from 
which, with glasses, we could see the EifYel Tower. Judg- 


ing from our experience with the elusive furlough, that is 

: as near to Paris as most of us will ever get. 

'. We were impressed with the new enthusiasm for Amer- 

^ ican soldiers among the French people; every station, every 

') village, every farm window was hung with colors, some 

t attempt at the Stars and Stripes being common. And stout 

burghers, lovely maidens, saucy gamins, and old roadmen- 

:,ders had a cheer and a wave of the hand for "les braves 

Americains, si jeunes, si forts, si gentils," as the troop 

train passed by. 

''Looks as if they knew about the big battle we were in," 
^,said Lawrence Reilly. 

"Not a bit of it," said the grizzled Sergeant Harvey. "I 
have seen the Paris papers and nobody but ourselves knows 
that the Americans were in the Champagne fight. These 
people think we are fresh from the rear, and they are giving 
us a good reception on account of the American Divisions 
that hammered the Jerries three or four days after we 
helped to stand them up. Isn't that so. Father?" 

"I think you're right. Sergeant. For the time being what 
;you fellows did is lost in the shuffle." 

"Who were these other guys ?" asked Mike Molese. 
"They say it was the ist and 2nd Divisions up near 
'Soissons and the 26th and 3rd around Chateau Thierry." 
' "How is it these fellows manage to get all the press- 
agent stuff and never a thing in the paper about the 42nd ?" 
^ asked Tommy Murphy. 

"Well, those other fellows say that it is the Rainbows 
t that get all die advertising.'* 

"Well, if I ever get home," said Bobby Harrison, "I'll 
I tell the world that none of those birds, regulars, marines 
or Yankees, have anything on the Rainbow." 

"Oh, what's the difference?" said the philosophical John 
Mahon, "as long as it is American soldiers that are getting 
the credit." 

"Do you subscribe to those sentiments, Kenneth?" I 
asked John's side partner, Hayes. 


"I certainly do, Father/' 

"Then I make it unanimous. This meeting- will no\ 
adjourn with all present rising to sing the 'Star Spangle( 
Banner/ " 


July 26th, 191 
Somebody is always taking the joy out of life. We ha( 
but three days in our pleasant villages on the Marne whei; 
they routed us out and lined us up on a hot, broad highway; 
where we waited for the French camions which were t/i 
take us towards the field of battle. Finally they arrived— j 
a long fleet of light hooded trucks, each driven by a littlj 
sun-burned, almond-eyed, square-cheeked Chink — Anna! 
mese or Tonquinese, to be more accurate. We sailed iii 
these four-wheeled convoys past what is left of the villagl 
of Vaux (the completest job of destruction we had ye| 
seen, the work of our American artillery) through Chateaii 
Thierry, which had only been pecked at in comparison, an(l 
northwest to the town of Epieds. i 

Here we witnessed one of those melodramas of waij 
for the sight of which most civilians at home would sell, j 
am sure, one year of their lives. There were four of oul 
observation balloons in the air. Four or five German at! 
tacking planes were circling above them intent on thei 
destruction ; and a few doughty French flyers were manoeuv 
ering to resist them. The convoy paused on the road t- 
watch the result of the combat. In fact, all the roads con 
verging there were brown with canvas hoods and khal^ 
uniforms. Both the stage and the accommodations f( 
spectators were perfect. The spectators arranged thei 
selves along the roadside ; the scene was set in the clear sk 
overhead. Suddenly one of the Germans darted high in th 
air over the balloon on the extreme left. Anti-aircraft gun 
barked viciously, and the ether broke out in white and blacl 
patches around him, but he managed to place himself wher 
they could not fire at him easily, as he had the balloon ii 


he line of fire from the strongest battery. Then he turned 

md swooped down on the balloon, swift as a hawk at its 

)!cy. He swerved upwards as he passed it and all four 

jermans soared rapidly upwards and away. We saw 

;omething drop suddenly from the balloon, which rapidly 

leveloped into a parachute with two observers clinging to 

t. A thin wisp of smoke which we could detect from the 

v^palloon then burst into flames, and the blazing material be- 

v^an to drop towards the parachute. But the automobile to 

^vhich the silk observation tower was attached began to 

.jnove, and the fiery mass missed the parachute on the way 

iiown. We were glad that the observers had escaped, but 

|ve felt that in this first round of our new battle we had to 

i:oncede first blood to the enemy. 
We hiked from Epieds — a pleasant walk — to this fine 
, :hateau, the main building of which is occupied by French 
Staff Officers of a Corps d'Armee. Our headquarters is in 
L large outbuilding, the men being in the nearby woods. I 
: ve been circulating around amongst our ist Battalion and 
' ) the Ohios on my own particular concerns. Took sup- 
. )er with Company D. Buck is away, as Major Donovan 
- taken his four company commanders on a reconnoiter- 
i ; expedition, since his battalion is to be first in. Had sup- 
)cr with Lieutenants Connelly, Daly and Burke. Daly is a 
...ine, intelligent active youth, graduate of Holy Cross and of 
he Old Irish 9th Mass. Burke got his training in the regu- 
ar army. He is a soldier of the silent determined kind, 
, ind a very efficient officer, with no blamed nonsense about 
^lim. The other three of us, of a more normal racial type, 
,|:annot see any sense in being too sensible. Connelly winked 
,.it me and began to "draw" Burke by expressing envy of the 
y ucky birds who had gotten orders to go back to the States, 
■paly played up strongly, and Burke's face showed ever- 
: ncreasing exasperation and disgust. Finally he blurted: 
^ 'Father, why don't you shut these slackers up? We're here 
fo see this thing through, and such talk is bad for morale." 
jWhen I laughed as loud as the rest he grinned and said: 


"Oh, I know that if they gave you fellows New York City , 
with Boston to boot, neither of you would go back." A ! 
true statement, as I know. I paid for my supper by hear- 
ing their confessions. 

The reconnoitering party came in for a severe shelling, j 
and Buck has gone back wounded and Hutchinson gassed. 
Donovan is back here, also gassed, but ready to go in again ! 
if they want his battalion, though his orders to relieve the 
French have been countermanded. While I am writing, 
a polite French Staff Officer came in with the word that 
the original orders should stand. Donovan buckled his 
harness on anew and went out to lead his battalion forward 
once more. I posted myself in the gateway of the Chateau 
and gave absolution to each Company as it passed. Then 
I hastened out on the main road, and made similar an- ^ 
nouncements to the Ohios, as that regiment moved up top 
the front. There is every evidence that we are in for 2l^ 
battle, big and bloody. ' 


July 27th, 191 8 
We spent last night in this shell-torn town, and this| 
evening we take up the pursuit of the withdrawing Ger- 
mans. Donovan's battalion is out getting touch with them 
and McKenna is starting up too. The 84th Brigade has 
already relieved the 26th American Division and a Brigade 
of the 28th and have been in a hard battle with the enemy 
at Croix Rouge Farm. It took all their undoubted courage 
to sweep over the machine gun nests, and they succeeded 
in doing it at the price of a battalion. The roads coming 
down are filled with ambulances and trucks carrying the 
wounded and dripping blood. We are relieving the i67th| 
French Division, but nothing seems definitely settled, andi 
messengers are coming and going with orders and counter! 
orders. I have greater admiration than ever for McCoyj 
these days. He moves in war as in his native element, ex-^ 


pending his energies without lost motion or useless fric- 

Tonight we go to the Chateau de Fere. If the Ger- 
mans decide to make a stand at the Ourcq we shall be in 
action by tomorrow. 


Croix Rouge Farm was the last stand of the Germans 
south of the Ourcq but it was e:fepected that they would 
make some sort of resistance on the slopes and in the woods 
north of this river. 

To get to the battlefield from the south one can go on a 
broad highway running straight north for five miles 
through the thickly wooded Foret de Fere. Near the north- 
ern point of the woods is an old square French Ferme — the 
Ferme de I'Esperance, and a more pretentious modern 
dwelling, the Chateau de Foret. A little further north one 
comes to the contiguous villages of La Folic and Villers 
sur Fere. On the map they look like a thin curved caterpil- 
lar, with the church and the buildings around its square rep- 
resenting the head. Beyond the square a short curved 
street known to us as "Dead Man's Curve" or "HelFs Cor- 
ner" leads to the cemetery on the left, with an orchard on 
the right. From the wall of the orchard or cemetery one 
can see the whole battlefield of our Division on the Ourcq. 
A mile and a half to the left across the narrow river is 
Fere en Tardenois blazing, smoking and crackling all the 
week under the fire of artillery, first of the French, then 
of the Germans. About the same distance to the right and 
also north of the river, lies the village of Sergy where the 
lowas were to have their battle. To get the Ourcq straight 
across the line of vision one faces to the northeast. The 
eye traverses a downward slope with a few clumps of trees 
for about eight hundred yards. The river, which would be 
called a creek in our country, has a small bridge to the left 



and another a little to the right as we are looking, near the 
Green Mill or Moulin Vert. Straight ahead beyond the 
river is a valley, and up the valley a thousand yards north 
of the river is a house and outbuildings with connecting 
walls all of stone, forming a large interior court yard. 
It is Meurcy Farm. A brook three or four feet wide runs 
down the valley towards us. Its marshy ground is thickly 
wooded near the Ourcq with patches of underbrush. And 
about two hundred yards west of the Farm is a thick square 
patch of wood, the Bois Colas. North of the Farm is a 
smaller woods, the Bois Brule. 

The whole terrain naturally slopes towards the Ourcq. 
But tactically the slopes that were of most importance in» 
our battle were those that bound the brook and its valley. 
Facing the Farm from the bottom of the valley one sees 
to the left a gradual hill rising northwestwards till it 
reaches the village of Scringes et Nesles, which lies like 
an inbent fish-hook, curving around Bois Colas and Meur- 
cy Farm half a mile away. To the east of the brook the 
rise goes up from the angle of the brook valley and the 
river valley in two distinct slopes, the first, fairly sharp, 
the second gradual. Six hundred yards or so north of 
these crests is a thick, green wall across the northern view. 
It is the Forest of Nesles. The difficulty of attacking up 
this little valley towards the Farm lay in the fact that it 
made a sort of trough, both sides of which could be easily 
defended by machine guns with a fine field of direct fire, and 
also by flanking fire from the opposite slope as well as from 
Meurcy Farm and Bois Colas which lay in the northern 
angle of the valley. And when the attackers got to the top 
of the eastern crest there were five hundred yards of level 
ground to traverse in face of whatever defences might be 
on the edge of the Forest. 

With plenty of artillery to crack the hardest nuts, and 
with regiments moving forward fairly well in line so that 
the advance of each would protect the flanks of its neigh- 
bors, the problem would not have been a terrific one. 


But nobody knew for certain whether the enemy would 
make more than a rear guard action at the Ourcq. His 
general line still constituted a salient and his ultimate line 
was sure to be the Vesle or the Aisne. It takes time to 
get Artillery up and in place. And the Germans might slip 
away scot free on account of our too great caution in fol- 
lowing him. Miles to right and left allied troops, mainly 
French, were hammering at both sides of the salient. It 
was the duty of those who followed the retreating enemy 
to see that his retirement with guns and other property 
should not be too easy a task. 

In our progress to the slopes above the Ourcq there was 
little resistance in the path of our brigade. The night o; 
the 27th, General Lenihan established brigade headquar- 
ters at the Chateau de Foret. The Ohios were in the for- 
est in brigade support, as the first plan was to send in one 
regiment. Our second battalion was in regimental reserve 
and was held by Anderson in the woods to the left of the 
road, his principal officers being Lieutenant Keveny, Adju- 
tant, and in command of the four companies, E, F, G, H, 
Captains Baker, Kelly, Prout and Finn. Colonel McCoy 
had established his post of command near the church at 
the northern end of Villers sur Fere. With him was the 
Headquarters Company under Captain Michael Walsh, and 
nearest to him was the third battalion under Major Mc- 
Kenna, with Lieutenant Cassidy, Adjutant, and Companies 
I, K, L, M, commanded by Captains Ryan, Hurley, Merle- 
Smith and Meaney. 

Major Donovan with the first battalion, Lieutenant 
Ames, Adjutant, and the Companies A, B, C, D, command- 
ed by Lieutenant Baldwin, Captain Reilly, Captain Boot2 
and Lieutenant Connelly with our Machine Gun Company 
under Captain Seibert, had gone forward on the night of 
the 26th and relieved the French west of Beuvardes. On 
the afternoon of the 27th they had passed east through the 
Foret de Fere and had come out on the crest over the rivei 
between Villers and Sergy, the lines being widely ex- 


tended to keep in touch with the lowas on the right. Here 
we witnessed the first operation of cavalry in our battles. 
A small squadron of French cavalry came out of the woods 
and proceeded down the road south of the river in the direc- 
tion of Sergy with the intention of drawing the enemy fire. 
It was a beautiful sight to see the animated group of horses 
and men tearing down the road, but a spectacle that did not 
last long, as very shortly they drew a powerful enemy fire 
and after some losses cantered back to the woods with their 
main object accomplished. Our Infantry was thus drawn 
into the battle but with little opportunity to accomplish much 
as the enemy were relying principally on heavy shell fire. 
Of ours, Company C suffered the greatest losses, as Cor- 
poral Morschhauser, William V. Murtha and John F. In- 
gram were killed and Sergeant John F. Vermaelen with 
Frank Dunn, William Ryan and Harry Fix mortally 
wounded. Major Donovan drew his battalion back behind 
the reverse slope of a hill where it was protected from ob- 
servation by trees, and there ordered them to dig in for the 

He had detached Company D, under Lieutenant Connelly, 
to find and maintain liaison with the French on the left. 
The Lieutenant got in touch with our own 3rd Battalion 
which was already coming up on that side. Lieutenant 
Burke of D Company, with Eugene Brady, kept on to find 
the French to the westward, but just as he started out 
he received a dangerous and painful wound in the leg. He 
stopped only long enough to have it tied up and then, in 
spite of protest, he insisted on carrying out his task. He 
tramped over fields and through woods for four hours that 
night before his work was complete and there was no danger 
of the derangement of plans, and then permitted them to 
carry him back to the hospital. His wound was so severe 
that it took months and months to heal, but Burke is the 
kind of soldier who will carry out any task he is given to do, 
if he has to finish it crawling. 

In the early hours of Sunday, July 28th, the disposition of 


the regiment was as follows. Colonel McCoy with his 
Headquarters Company, Major McKenna's Battalion with 
Company D of the ist Battalion, and a Company of the 
Wisconsin Machine Gunners were in the town of Villers 
sur Fere and in the orchards east of it. Major Donovan 
with Companies A, B and C, and our Machine Gun Com- 
pany were further east in the direction of Sergy. Our 
2nd Battalion was two miles behind and to the west, the 
Ohios being still further west on the same line. A bat- 
talion of the Alabamas had come up behind Major Dono- 
van to take the ground he had occupied between Villers 
sur Fere and Sergy. In front of Sergy the lowas were 
already set. West of Villers sur Fere the ground was held 
by the French, their main effort being concentrated on the 
capture of Fere en Tardenois. It was reported through the 
night that they already had that town, but they did not 
cross the river until well on into the next morning. 

Under normal battle conditions Colonel McCoy would not 
have been justified in having his Post of Command right up 
with the advance elements of his regiment as they went into 
battle. But he was a bold as well as a careful commander, 
and he felt that he could best handle the situation by being 
where he could see just what was going on. 

For two days the situation had been changing from hour 
to hour. First it was planned to have Major Donovan re- 
lieve the forward elements of the French Infantry on Fri- 
day night. Then on Friday morning came a corps order for 
the 42nd Division to attack on Saturday morning. It was 
then arranged between General Menoher and the French 
Division Commander to have two battalions of ours, Dono- 
van's and McKenna*s, relieve the French that night. As we 
have seen, the order to attack was recalled and the relieving 
battalions were sent back. But the two division comman- 
ders decided that the relief should be effected and that 
these two battalions should take the front line with Ander- 
son in support and the i66th in reserve. On Saturday came 
word that the enemy had withdrawn with the French Divi- 


sion to our left in pursuit. The i66th were to relieve them 
when the situation settled. 

On Saturday morning came General Order 51. "Pur- 
suant to orders from the Sixth (French) Army, 42nd Divi- 
sion will attack at H. hour, under cover of darkness, night 
of July 27-28." The four infantry regiments were to at- 
tack abreast, a battalion of each being in line. "The attack 
will be in the nature of a surprise, and consequently troops 
in the attack will not fire during the assault, but will confine 
themselves to the use of the bayonet." 

At I lOO P. M. Saturday, July 27th, the order was given 
to execute the relief and await further instructions. Our 
advance elements were already on the way and the ist 
Battalion of the Ohios came up in the rear of the loth 
French Chasseurs to make reconnoissance with the purpose 
of relieving them. 

An hour after midnight General Lenihan received a mes- 
sage from Colonel MacArthur containing an order from our 
1st Army Corps, that the attack be made before daylight and 
without artillery preparation, reliance being placed chiefly 
on the bayonet to drive the enemy from his position. 
Cavalry were to be in reserve to follow up. General Leni- 
han ordered all of our three Battalions to take part in the 

Colonel McCoy was sent for and the order was given him. 
Major McKenna expressed his opinion of the order in a 
manly, soldierly way. Captain Hurley of Company K had 
felt out the enemy resistance during the night and had 
found machine gun nests just across the river, the enemy ar- 
tillery also being very active. The assumption of a retreat- 
ing enemy against whom infantry bayonets and charging 
cavalry could be effective was not justified by what the 
front line could detect. It was a case for artillery prepara- 
tion and careful advance. Colonel McCoy was already of 
the same opinion, which he expressed with proper vigor. 
They were three good soldiers, Lenihan, McCoy and Mc- 
Kenna, and they all felt the same way about it. But it was 


a Corps Order, an Army order, in fact, commanding a gen- 
eral advance. Whatever might be the cost, it could not be 
that this regiment should not do its share to keep the 
advancing line in even contact with the enemy. So when the 
hour arrived the Colonel gave the order to advance, which 
order was communicated by Major McKenna, to Hurley, 
Ryan and Merle-Smith, Meaney being in reserve. Orders 
were also sent to Colonel Donovan on the right to move 
his battalion to the west, taking advantage of the woods, 
and then to cross the river. Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell 
brought orders in person to Anderson to bring his bat- 
talion forward and cross the Ourcq on the left of McKenna, 
which would bring him to the slope on the west of the little 
brook leading towards Bois Colas. 

Meanwhile General Lenihan at 3 :20 A. M. had received 
word from General Brown of the 84th Brigade that he 
could not be sure of having his regiments in line in time 
for the assault. As a matter of fact, the lowas, under 
Colonel Tinley, were already abreast of Donovan; and the 
assault battalion of the Alabamas, under Lieutenant Colonel 
Baer, was rapidlj- coming up behind. About 5 :oo A. M. 
General Lenihan received word that the French were not in 
Fere en Tardenois. He decided that it was too hazard- 
ous to push the attack and word was sent at 5:15 o'clock 
to Colonel McCoy to suspend his advance temporarily pend- 
ing the advance of neighboring organizations. 

But the old regiment had a motto to live up to, "Never 
disobeyed an order, never lost a flag.'* McKenna had given 
his orders to his Captains who all knew just what it meant • 
— and the men under them knew it. Many of them, most of 
them, as it turned out, would be dead or wounded up that 
pleasant little valley and along its eastern slopes before the 
sun rode at mid-heavens. But no man was daunted by the 

The first wave was to be Company K, already so cruelly 
tried by the gas attack at Luneville. Their leader was Cap- 
tain John Patrick Hurley, whose slender form and hand- 


some ascetic face seemed to mark the poet or the student 
rather than the soldier. But he was a keen soldier, one 
whose blood pumped full and even when death was flying 
round. Company K was willing to die for him or with him 
anywhere. At his command they moved forward in ad- 
vance formation with intervals all perfect at a walk, a trot, 
a run, down to the Ourcq. It was a sight to remember 
while life would last, as perfect as a peace manoeuvre but 
with death all around. In that short advance Sergeant 
Frank Doughney and Corporal Raymond Staber, the heroic 
son of Mount Loretto, found their way to heaven; and a 
number of good men were wounded. But they swept on 
over the Green Mill bridge and across its dam and through 
the waters of the river with Captain Hurley and Lieutenant 
Pat Dowling in the lead, and did not stop till they had 
gained a footing under the bank of the road beyond the 

Right on their heels came Company I under the Boer 
War Veteran, Captain Richard J. Ryan, in the same per- 
fect formation. They, too, swept across the Ourcq (Eddie 
Joyce being the one man killed), and took up their place 
with Company K under the bank. The two Captains re- 
formed their men and were looking over the situation. Their 
objective was Meurcy Farm. But that lay in the valley and 
was impossible to take until at least one of the slopes was 
cleared to its summit; as a direct advance would expose 
them to fierce enfilading fire. Even where they were, one 
group of enemy machine guns could fire direct on their 
flank; so Captain Ryan sent one of his best men, Sergeant 
E. Shanahan, with Hugh McFadden, Pat McKeon, Het- 
trick, Hartnett and others to put it out of action. A for- 
lorn hope, he felt, but they did it without losses, as Shana- 
han was a born leader. 

The line was scarcely straightened out when the men 
were given the word to advance. The left of Company K 
moved out on the lower slopes along the little valley towards 
Meurcy Farm; the right of K and all of I at an angle 


straight up the bare, smooth slope towards the machine gun 
nests that were spitting fire from that direction. That kind 
of action suited Pat DowHng. He jumped to his feet and 
called to his platoon to follow, when a machine gun bullet 
gave him a mortal wound. Sergeant Embree and John J. 
Cone fry fell by his side. A heart-broken soldier lifted the 
Lieutenant. "Did they get that machine gun on the right?" 
"Yes, sir." Then, "Thank God !" and a dauntless leader of 
men was no more. 

The line swept on. The slope to the right ran through a 
wheat field and then with a gentle rise to the summit. In 
the lower portion there was a group of machine guns 
manned by good men. But they had to deal with better 
men. The line swung around the guns in a semi-circle, the 
men crawling on their belHes Hke Indians now. The rifles 
were crackling all around, their sharp bursts of fire drown- 
ing at times the incessant pop, pop, pop of the machine guns. 
Many of the German gunners were killed and the others 
found it nigh impossible to lift their heads from their holes 
to work the pieces. Not one of them offered to surrender. 
Most of them died at their posts. A few sought safety 
in flight and some of these managed to slip back up the hill 
to safety. We met some of these men long afterwards. 
They spoke of the sweep of the Battalion across the Ourcq 
and said they thought Americans were crazy. 

Meanwhile big gallant Merle-Smith with Company L had 
crossed the river and had fallen into line on the hill to the 
right of Company I. Major McKenna, anxious to extend 
his flanks as far as possible, had thrown in Company D, 
half of it on the right of L, well into territory that belonged 
to the neighboring regiment, and half to the left rear of K, 
up the valley towards the farm. 

The men who had the farm for their objective fared the 
best. At that moment it was not very strongly held and the 
shoulder of the hill protected them from fire from its sum- 
mit. Sergeants Meade and Crotty, with a platoon of Com- 
pany K, followed by Lieutenant Cook, with two platoons 


of D, worked their way up the valley. There was a sharp 
fight under the stone walls of the old building and gallant 
Bob Foster there found the death that was sure to be his in 
battle. Carl Nyquist of L was also killed. Finally, rifles 
were thrust through the windows and the last of the Ger- 
mans retreated across the courtyard and out the other side. 
I While searching for food (soldiers always go into battle 
after a long fast), Corporal John Gribbon found one lone 
German hiding in the cellar and sent him to the rear. Other 
soldiers ran into the orchard like school boys and picked 
green apples to satisfy their hunger. Sergeant Crotty was 
I sent to establish a line of sharp-shooters to keep down the 
i fire from the edge of Bois Colas, and Sergeant Dick O'Neill 
j held the Farm with his platoon of Company D, until the 
t Germans, learning from their own fugitives that it had been 
I evacuated by their men, shelled the defenders out into the 
j open. 

i The main attack had harder going. Near the crest of 
the hill was a new line of German guns much stronger than 
I' the first and with a magnificent field of fire that swept 
ii almost every part of the slope. Now that their own men 
f at the base were out of the way, the German Artillery, 
}' too, had more freedom to act, and shells began to drop 
along the slope, carrying destruction. The whine of bul- 
lets was incessant and the quick spurts of dust spoke of 
imminent death. But still the line kept crawling forward, 
each man keeping his resolution to the sticking point with 
nc exhilaration of a head-long charge nor even a friendly 
touch of shoulder. In attacks such as this each man must 
crawl forward in isolation, keeping his interval from his 
neighbors lest destruction should reach too many at one 
time. It is the finest test of courage. 

The machine guns were the worst — and not alone those in 
front. The main attack was up the slope on the east of the 
brook valley. Across the narrow valley along the edge of 
the Bois Colas until Anderson's men cleaned them out ; and 
outside Seringes, the Germans had other guns which kept 


up a galling flanking fire on our third battalion. And from 
their right on their unprotected flank more guns were at 
work. Before the hill was half won many were wounded 
or killed. Company K, on the left, exposed to the fire 
across the valley, was the first to suffer heavily. Lieutenant 
Gerald Stott was badly hit — mortally, as the event proved. 

Father Hanley, whose disposition did not permit him to 
remain at the dressing station, had gone over the river 
with Captain Hurley and he rushed forward to save the 
wounded Lieutenant, followed by Sergeant Peter Crotty 
with Ted Van Yorx and George Meyer. The dust began 
spurting around them and Father Hanley went down with 
a bullet in the knee. Despite his command to the men that 
they should not risk themselves, the three brave lads car- 
ried him in, and also Lieutenant Stott. 

Lieutenant Arnold made a desperate attempt to get in 
behind the machine guns on the crest by following a drain 
on the lower slope. He had gotten well forward when 
he was mortally hit. Sergeant John Ross went ahead to get 
him, but was struck dead by the side of his Lieutenant, as 
were James Daley of K, and John Hession of L. 

Of the five Kelly s of Company K, two, John and Fran- 
cis, both daring youths, were killed. Howard was badly 
wounded in the leg, Herbert was not yet back from the 
gassing at Luneville. Young Jimmy, a lad of seventeen, 
alone remained, and battled as if he felt he had to do the 
fighting for the whole clan. Of the five SuUivans, Jim was 
the only one hit and he refused to quit the field. The same 
is true of Sergeant D'Acosta and Victor Van Yorx and 
Mike Bannon and also Herbert McKenna of the Mount 
Loretto boys of Company K. The other lads of his school 
showed their training that day. Besides Raymond Staber, 
George Duffy, Joe Gully and Tom Fleming paid the big 
price for their patriotism. So too, did another much be- 
loved lad in the Company, James Scott; and Cox, Grey, 
Patrick Ristraino, Patrick Caulfield, Hugh Quinn, Wil| 
Ring, and Patrick Cunningham (the last three in front of 


Meurcy Farm), with Lewis Shockler, James Daly, Sylvia 
and Dale, Sharp and Ramsey, who received their death 
wounds on the slopes of the hill. This was a heart-breaking 
day for Captain Hurley, who loved his boys, but he kept on 
cheerful to outward view with his two remaining Lieu- 
tenants, Metcalf and Williams, and non-coms like Meade, 
Farrell, Crotty, Bernard McElroy, John Gibbons and others 
already named. But soon Lieutenant Metcalf was sent 
back wounded and Williams was the only Lieutenant left. 

At the extreme right of our line was Company L with 
the remnants of two platoons of Company D under Lieu- 
tenants Connelly and Daly. Captain Merle-Smith was hit 

' early in the day, a bullet piercing his arm as he raised it to 
signal his men forward. He had a first aid bandage 
wrapped round it and then forgot about it, as there was 
too much to do. Lieutenant Wellbome also was hit and 

; refused to quit the field. In his platoon Sergeant George 
Kerr, a great favorite in the company, was fatally wounded. 
He was picked up by Sergeant Will Murphy (I always 
wanted to make a priest out of Will, but he was none the 
worse soldier for that), and carried down the hill; but 
George died before the bottom was reached and Murphy 
himself was badly wounded. 

In the 2nd Platoon Lieutenant Watkins was killed in the 
very front line. Near him fell Sergeant Tom O'Donovan 
and Bert Landzert, good friends of mine since Border 

I days. Lieutenant Spencer was also wounded doing courage- 

i' ous liaison work, as well as Lieutenants Leslie and Booth 
and Knowles, who had battalion duties and were there to 
help in co-ordination. The 4th Platoon was led into action 
by my loyal friend. Sergeant John Donoghue — like Tom 
O'Donovan, a Killarney man, and both fine specimens of 
the Irish soldier. He was hit very badly in the early part 
of the fray, but remained there for hours spurring on his 
men. His place as leader was taken by Sergeant Ray 
Convey, a deep, sincere, religious youth whom the whole 
Company admired. He was a gallant leader, till death and 


glory claimed him. The same quick route to heaven was 
taken by Corporal Neil Fitzpatrick, wounded the night be- 
fore but still in the fray, and Dave O'Brien, a quiet saint 
and a model soldier. Owen McNally also, and the two 
Coneys boys, George Heinbock, John J. Booth, and two 
youths dear to all for their nobility of character, Lawrence 
Spencer and Bernard Sheeran. With Lieutenant Watkins 
and Sergeant O'Donovan and Convey on the hilltop lay Mat 
Moran and Mario Miranda, Earl Weill, Roland Phillips, 
Herbert Stowbridge, M. Simpson, John Hayden, Harold 
Yockers, Elmer Shaner and Preston Carrick, Dan Reardon, 
Alexander Jornest (Russian) and James Santori (Italian), 
all making the same sacrifice for the land of their birth or 

Arthur Turner, Walter McCarty, E. J. Morrissey, Ray- 
mond Murphy were killed in town. William J. Ormond, 
James Cook, James Watson, Herbert Ray and Leroy Mc- 
Neill died of wounds. 

Johnnie McSherry, the irrepressible youngster, and Maur- 
ice Hart, the staid veteran, were both carried from the 
field. Sergeant Arthur McKenny was wounded and carried 
into Meurcy Farm, where he was afterward made prisoner 
by the enemy. Of the two McLaughlin brothers, Dan was 
wounded unto death, while doing great work, and Harry, 
less severely. Two other brothers of the same name, Long- 
ford men, Bernard and Thomas McLaughlin, battled 
through it all and came out unscathed. The three Mc- 
Cabes fought like Maccabees. Sergeants Bezold, Thomas 
Kiernan and Bernard Woods were wounded, but Sergeant 
William Malinka, Tom Dunn and Leo Mullin came 

On the left of L and in the middle of the line, Company 
I held the field and suffered even greater losses; but they 
too kept working steadily forward and no man went back 
whose duty it was to stay. Lieutenant H. H. Smith was 
killed on the last slope, urging his men forward. Ser- 
geant Frank McMorrow and William Lyle, Paddy Flynn, 


and Hugh McFadden kept the platoon going. Lieutenant 
Cortlandt Johnson, like Captain Ryan, kept moving all along 

. the line unmindful of danger, until he was badly wounded. 

i His platoon was in good hands. Sergeant Charles Con- 
nolly took command and kept them advancing till death 
called him from the fray. Across his body fell Tommy 
Brennan, his closest friend — **In death not divided." Ser- 
geant Billy McLaughlin, a thorough soldier, took command 
but five minutes later he, too, was killed as he led the ad- 
vance shouting, "Let's go and get 'em, men!" Otto Ernst 
and John O'Rourke were killed at the very top of the hill, 
but Lenihan and Vail, Adikes and Lynch, still held the sur- 
vivors together until they, too, were wounded. John J. 
Maddock, a veteran of the Regular Army, was badly hit 
while trying to save Corporal Beckwith. 

Here, too, fell Lieutenant Beach, killed by shrapnel while 
shooting an automatic. Along side him lay in a row like 
harvest sheaves, Matt O'Brien, William Corbett, Roger 
Minogue, Patrick McCarthy, Patrick McKeon, Floyd Baker, 
Louis Bloodgood and James Powell. Sergeant Charlie 
Cooper escaped severely wounded and Dan Mullin led what 
was left of the platoon. 

It was at the top of the hill that the Captain was 
wounded, a bullet going through his left side. Before he 
fell he had looked the situation over. The forward lines 
were now able to see clearly the whole field. In front the 
terrain stretched over perfectly level ground for five hun- 
dred yards to the edge of the forest of Nesles where one 
could detect the prepared emplacements and regularly wired 
positions. It was useless to advance in that direction ; not a 
man could ever cross that stretch alive. To the right a com- 
pany of the Alabamas had come up, but they, too, had been 
swept to pieces by the German fire and no more managed 
to reach the top. To the left, across the valley, our second 
battalion had begun to work its way up the opposite slope 
towards Seringes. Their fire could be detected as they 
wormed their way forward. 


Looking back down the hill the sight was discouraging. 
The ground was littered with the bodies of the brave, and 
the slopes of the Ourcq were dotted with the wounded, 
helping one another to the dressing station across the river 
in Villers sur Fere. 

Half the battalion was out of action. Of five Lieuten- 
ants, Hurley had lost three killed, and one wounded. Merle- 
Smith was wounded and also three of his four officers, the 
fourth being killed. Eugene Gannon, a brave and com- 
petent soldier, was now his second in command. Ryan, 
badly wounded, was the only officer left in I, though he had 
well placed confidence in his first sergeant, Patrick McMini- 
man, a rock-ribbed old-timer, and Sergeants Shanahan and 
Patrick Collins. 

All three commanders decided that the position on the 
top of the hill was untenable. When they had swept over 
the last emplacements of the German guns on the hill they 
not only found that their own further advance was impos- 
sible; they had also left the German artillery free to act, and 
the shelling began with terrific vigor. So the main body 
drew back a little below the crest, leaving automatic gun- 
ners and sharp-shooters to keep the Germans from ventur- 
ing forward from the woods. Our own machine guns, the 
Wisconsin lads manning them, had followed the advance, 
the gunners fighting with desperate courage. The ammuni- 
tion was carried up by their men and ours at a fearful 
cost. Five feet or so a man might run with it and then go 
down. Without a moment's hesitation, some other soldier 
would grab it and run forward to go down in his turn. 
But the guns had to be fed and still another would take the 
same dreadful chance. Death was forgotten. Every man 
thought only of winning the fight. Finally the guns were 
put out of action by shell fire at the top of the hill and 
there they stood uselessly, their gunners lying dead around 

Death was busy on that hill that morning. It claim( 
Johnnie Bradley, the baby of the Company, for whom lil 


was still an unexplored field; and Ben Gunnell of the 
Northwest Mounted Police, who had tried most earthly 
things and found them wanting. Pat Stanley, who had left 
his kitchen to fight, found a noble end to his fighting. Ar- 
thur Matthews, mortally wounded, spent what remained to 
him of breath, calling words of encouragement to his com- 
panions. Two men worked side by side, — one was taken 
and the other left. Frank Mulligan and Frank Van Bramer 
worked an automatic. Van Bramer was called. John 
O'Hara went the long road and Jim O'Connor stuck it out 
untouched. Frankie Connolly took the automatic from Mc- 
Carthy's dead hands and kept it going all morning. Eddie 
Martin and Will Corbett, liaison men, were shot down, and 
Charlie Garrett wounded. The voices of Thomas Curry 
and Henry Lynch and Arthur Thompson were hushed for- 
ever. Frank Courtney, Will Flynn, Earl Rhodes, Thomas 
Boyle, Carl Moler, John McCabe, Harold Van Buskirk, 
Louis Ehrhardt, Fred Muesse, Darcy Newman, Melvin 
Spitz, kept up the fight of that bare hillside with no thought 
of retreat until their heroic souls were sped. Charles Ford 
and Spencer Ely, Albert Schering and Thomas Shannon 
were carried from the field and died of their wounds. 

Captain Hurley, in command of the battalion on the hill, 
had gone down to confer with the Colonel. Captains Ryan 
and Merle-Smith were both wounded. The latter kept 
cheerfully moving around amongst his men, while Ryan 
had to lie in a depression and try to keep up the spirits of 
his followers by calling to them. When his voice failed 
him, Paddy Flynn, a clean-cut young Irish athlete, came and 
lay along side him and coached the team like a captain on 
the base lines. As he raised his head to call he was hit on 
the cheek, but he kept on urging resistance until he was 
finally wounded severely. Paddy Hackett's voice was also 
heard throughout the fight urging the old gallants to stick, 
until he, too,. found his place among the heroes of the regi- 
ment that are gone. 

And still the remnants of the battalion held their ground, 


though that ground was being plowed by shells. They had 
the hill; and if a general forward movement was on, as they 
had been told, it was their place to hold that hill till the 
other organizations could come up, even though the last man 
amongst them should remain there for his long sleep. Cap- 
tain Meaney had sent up reinforcements to piece out the 
thinned line. A platoon under Lieutenant Ahearn arrived, 
but reinforcements only added to the slaughter. What was 
needed was artillery fire and strong supporting movements 
on the flanks. Lieutenant Ahearn was wounded and two 
of his best Sergeants, Patrick Clark and Patrick Hayes. 
Sergeant William Francis was killed, also Corporals Patrick 
Cooke and George Hoblitzell, one of two fine brothers ; and 
Patrick Byrne, Hubert Hill, James Scanlan, John Tobin 
and John Donahue fought their last fight. Mat Mahoney, 
Frank Cullum, John Powers and Bill Conville, with many 
others, were badly wounded. 

Lieutenant Connelly had tried to remove Captain Ryan 
from the field. But the Captain threatened to shoot any- 
body who would attempt to take him away from his men. 
Finally, about noon. Captain Merle-Smith came to him with 
information that the order had come to withdraw through 
the 1st Battalion, which already occupied the lower slopes of 
the hill. 

That task remained to carry in the wounded. Company 
M gave great help, but every man who could walk lent a 
hand to this task of friendship. Corporal Dynan, who had 
already done more than his share of the fighting, got 
wounded finally while helping others oflf the field. 

Lieutenant Williams remained out to hold the advance 
position with a platoon of Company K, including Sergeants 
Joe Farrell and Peter Crotty, Corporals George Meyer, 
Patrick Ryan, John Naughton and John McLaughlin. 

The survivors were a sorry remnant of the splendid bat- 
talion that had so gallantly swept across the Ourcq that 
morning. But they had carried out a soldier's task. 


Their's not to reason why, 
Their*s but to do and die, 

Disputes may arise about the orders that sent them in 
but they will not affect the place in the martial annals of 
their race and country which was made on that day of tragic 
glory by the Shamrock Battalion of the old Irish regi- 
ment. Laurels grow from the graves of the dead. Laurels, 
too, encircle the brows of every man who fought that day 
on Hill 152. 

Still further news of tragedy waited for them. Their 
gallant Major was dead. Major McKenna had tried to 
recall his Company when the word came to countermand 
the attack order. But his wild Irish had rushed to the attack 
\\ ith too much eagerness for that, and the situation was 
beyond mending in this way. They could not retreat under 
the fire of the machine guns on the hill which could mow 
them down as they recrossed the river with nothing gained 
from their sacrifice. They had to go ahead and put these 
guns out of action. When he had seen how' things were 
going, the Major started back along the Ourcq to consult 
with Colonel McCoy. A shell came over knocking the 
Major down and wounding his Adjutant, Lieutenant Cas- 
sidy. When the Lieutenant, with Sergeant Major Joyce and 
George Strenk, ran to pick him up, they found him dead, 
though without a wound upon his loody. They bore him in 
sorrowing, as every man in the regiment sorrowed when the 
news went round, at the loss of a brave and beloved leader 
whose talents fitted him for a high destiny if life were 
spared him, but to whom had fallen the highest destiny 
of all, and one which he had always expected would be his — 
that of dying for his country. 

His Company Commanders had been informed of his 
death not long after it happened, and Captain Hurley had 
taken general direction of the fight when Ryan was 
wounded. Hurley came back to report on the situation to 
Colonel McCoy, and while talking to him was badly 


wounded by shell fire. The Colonel had already made up his 
mind on the matter and Major Donovan, with the ist Bat- 
talion, was crossing the river to effect a relief. 

But meanwhile another battle, scarcely less fierce, had 
been going on on the western slopes of the brook. On 
Saturday afternoon Major Anderson, with the 2nd Bat- 
talion, had received orders to proceed from Courpoil, north 
through Beuvardes, and maintain close liaison with the 
3rd, which was to go to the river and get contact with the 
enemy. Anderson marched his men up to a place north of 
the forest of Fere at the southwestern extremity of Villers 
sur Fere. Scouts were sent out to examine the ground 
toward the river, while the Major and his four Captains 
went to the town to interview the French Commander, who 
told them that it would be impossible to cross the Ourcq 
without artillery preparation, owing to the strong position 
held by the enemy. They obtained information about the 
dispositions and plans of the 3rd battalion and then re- 
turned to their commands. 

About half past three in the morning Lieutenant Colonel 
Mitchell came with the information that the attack was to 
be made at 5 :45 and that they were not to remain in sup- 
port, but to advance to the attack at the left of the 3rd 
Battalion. Anderson aroused his men and formed them in 
the field north of the forest with Companies E and F in 
the front line, E being on the right, and G and H behind 
them. They advanced in approach formation through the 
fields until they reached the southern slope of the crest 
just south of the river, where orders were received for the 
battalions to halt. 

This advance was made under heavy shell fire and at seri- 
ous cost. Early in the advance Charles B. Wethered and 
William Hurst were killed by the same shell, which also 
wounded Haggerty, Dearborn and Strang; and nearer to 
the river Company H suffered a tremendous loss by the 
severe wounding of Captain James G. Finn, whose leg 
was so badly gashed that he had to be carried from the 



field. The place where the battalion was to cross was to 
the west of the little brook. To their left was Fere en 
Tardenois, which was being systematically attacked by the 
French troops. Our people had time to admire the method 
in which these seasoned warriors went about their busi- 
ness. They had dug in during the night so that they could 
place their fire against three sides of the town, but they 
evidently had no intention of going over the river until the 
fire of the machine gims had been fairly well blanked. Some 
of their men were engaged in drawing fire from the German 
nests, while others were sniping at them from their shelters. 

Our men got the advantage of the French thoroughness 
when, as they came over the crest, they were liberally spat- 
tered with bullets from two or three detached houses on 
the left just outside Fere en Tardenois. Our one pounders 
were directed at them; but the French gave those hornet's 
nests their coup de grace when they pulled up one of their 
75's which they had handy, right into the front line and 
sent a few shells straight as rifle bullets into the houses. 
Captain Kelly sent my old friend, John Finnegan, with a 
patrol to see if any of the enemy were left in the houses. 
John came back with the report that there were no Ger- 
mans there but dead ones. 

The battalion rushed down and across the Ourcq without 
a casualty. There was one German gun which commanded 
the little bridge and which could have caused great losses, 
but the gunners were daunted by the resolute advance of 
our men, as they knew that no matter how many they 
might kill, they could not themselves escape, so they threw 
up their hands and surrendered. 

Companies E and F rushed over the little bridge and 
through the river and up the slope of the hill towards 
Seringes and Bois Colas. Here Captain Charles Baker of 
Company E was badly wounded in the neck and shoulder, 
one of his best Sergeants, Michael Lynch, was killed, and 
the bold Steve Derrig got a mortal wound. (Long after- 


wards we learned with deep and universal regret that Cap- i 
tain Baker died of his wounds. ) I 

Company F on the left had the place of danger, as their ; 
route lay straight up the hill and over the flats, to skirt the ; 
village of Seringes, the village itself being allotted to the \ > 
Chios when they could take their place in the line. Since ; 
they had been unavoidably detained and the French were 
still working in their business-like fashion at the task of ( 
getting Fere en Tardenois ready for capture, Kelly's left li 
flank was bound to be in the air with the prospects of worse i ? 
to come if he got far enough forward to have it pass the \^ 
village, which was giving trouble enough while in front. 

He sent messengers to Company E on his right to see i i 
whether Bois Colas was rid of the enemy, for if it were :; 
strongly held, his men would be simply fighting down a lane ;* 
into a trap. Jim Quigley of Company E had been in there i i 
already and Jim came around to report that the woods was :| 
not held by the Germans. Later Captain Prout sent a party 1 1 
into the wood and Lieutenant Conners, commanding E If 
Company, took possession of it up to its northern edge, j^ 
Kelly's men had meanwhile been going forward in spite of \: 
Artillery and Machine Gun fire, until they found a spot | i 
from which they could effectively retaliate. This was a cut- ; i 
ting in the roadway between Fere en Tardenois and the | i 
north edge of Bois Colas. The shelter it gave was not very \ i 
great, but Lieutenant Frank Marsh had his automatic and i t- 
rifle men lined up in the ditch, happy to get a shot at the 
foe that had been sending death amongst them. In the 
advance they had lost Frank Connaughton, Charles Fox and 
Michael Campbell, and later on Charles Caplinger, Harry 
Jennings and John J. McGloin. While holding the road 
other good men were killed. Matt Wynne, who was fenown 
to the whole regiment; Frank Divine, Lawrence Brennan, 
Alfred O'Neill, Sergeant Thomas Erb and Eugene Doty 
were mortally wounded, and also Harry Mansfield and 
Charles Melsa. 

Kelly with his headquarters group, ist Sergeant Joseph 


Blake, Sergeant John P. Mahon, Corporals Long and Fin- 
negan, Harris and McLean and also Lieutenant Ogle had 
his post at the crest of the hill where he could watch the 
fortunes of his forward detachment. Finding them hard 
pressed he got two automatics from the Ohios, who had 
now crossed the river and were forming under the bank, 
and sent Long and Finnegan for reinforcements from his 
own Battalion. Colonel Anderson ordered them sent, and 
detachments from all three Companies proceeded through 
Bois Colas and started working forward to support the 
right flank of the F Company men. In this operation 
Company E lost Thomas Cullen, Philip Ford, Edward 
Fuld, Frank O'Meara, Louis Hazelton, Louis Cohen, John 
Costello, Michael Breen, Emmett Bingham, Corporal Gus 
Winter (hit carrying Cullen in), and Corporal John Cronin, 
the saint of the Company (who had gone as a volunteer), 
and whose body lay when I came to bury him the nearest to 
the enemy of any soldier of ours. Not far from Cronin^s 
body lay four men of Company H, John T. McCarthy, Pat- 
rick Reynolds, George Smith and Thomas Hayes. G Com- 
pany lost John Conroy, Floyd Graham, and Edmund Rear- 
don. Patrick Scanlan, whose brother Dan I had buried 
at Baccarat, was wounded this day, but stuck to his Com- 
pany to meet his death the day following, as did James 
Higgins of the same Company. Of the two guides from 
Company F, Long was wounded and the heroic John Fin- 
negan fought his last fight. 

It was evident to anybody that a further advance with- 
out careful artillery preparation was impossible. Like the 
3rd Battalion on the other hill across this valley, they had 
reached the level approach to the strong defenses in the 
village and along the southern edge of the forest. It was 
an artillery job. And any infantry commander who would 
send his men across that open space would deserve a court 
martial. The difficulty for both battalions arose from the 
alacrity with which they had obeyed the orders from above 
which sent them across the Ourcq on a bayonet charge 


against a fleeing foe. They had followed the orders, and 
overcoming the first resistance of the enemy, they found 
themselves opposed to the main line of defense with prac- 
tically nobody else, French or American, on their side of 
the river. Their flanks unsupported, to go forward would 
be to hand the Germans a couple of geese to pluck, and as 
there were no means of communication with the distant ar- 
tillery except runners, that arm of the service could not 
act without grave danger of shooting up its own side. 

The Ohios meanwhile had pushed their way up to have 
their share in the battle. But since they had been considered 
as a support regiment, they naturally thought they were 
coming to relieve the New Yorkers, and officers and men 
announced that supposed fact to the groups of our men. 
Anderson stormed around when he heard of it and Kelly 
and Prout were disgusted, but they finally accepted the 
situation of falling back into a support position when orders 
came to make it final. After their struggles in the battle 
less than two weeks before the second battalion deserved a 
comparative rest from the toil of fighting. They withdrew 
to the northern edge of the Ourcq, where they supported 
the advance of the ist Battalion the next day. Later the 
same day they formed a connecting link with the Alabamas 
on our right. The losses of the battalion in the remaining 
days of the fight were few in comparison. John McGeary 
of G was killed while saving the wounded of Company H. 
Sergeant James P. Robinson and Thomas Bugler were 
killed by shell fire and also Arthur Baia of Company E. 
On July 30th, while providing for the needs of men in line, 
two Sergeants of Company F, Charles Denon and Charles 
D. Echeverria, were killed, and Lieutenant Smith and 
Thomas Kelleher of the same company seriously wounded. 
While engaged in a similar task the First Sergeant of Com- 
pany H, Daniel O'Neill, whose brother, William, had been 
killed in Champagne, was mortally wounded, leaving only 
one of that famous trio still alive. 

It was between nine and ten in the morning that Major 



Donovan's battalion had reached the river, and not long 
after midday the rehef of the 3rd BattaHon was practically 
complete. Major Donovan brought into line with him 
three Companies, A, B and C. Company D, which had been 
on the hill since early morning, was told that it could retire 
with the 3rd Battalion. It had suffered losses, though not 

Ro«<l «>•" Trail 

Bidjj ^ Sfnsom 



so severe as the other companies. The platoons on the left 
of the line had occupied Meurcy Farm with Company K. 
On the right the headquarters group and one platoon under 
Lieutenants Connelly and Daly had performed a very neat 
job of infilitration. There was a group of German machine 
guns in a clump of trees some distance beyond the right 
flank of our battalion, which was exceedingly annoying. So 
Connelly took his detachment far to the right, shielded by 


the bank of the river road, and led them up a gully into 
the rear of the Germans, driving them out by rifle fire and 
hand grenades. Two of his men, James Hayes and Harry 
Silver, an automatic rifle team, occupied a lone outpost 
which was attacked by the enemy. Silver was mortally hit, 
but kept on working his rifle till it dropped from his 
hands. Hayes grasped it and kept up the fight till he was 
wounded and taken prisoner. 

In spite of their hard day. Company D wished to remain 
in the fight with their own battalion. Connelly and Daly 
represented this to the Major, who was very glad to keep 

Major Donovan did not try to retain occupation of all 
the hill, since the results of the gallant work of the preced- 
ing battalion were preserved if the German machine guns 
could be prevented from re-establishing their posts on it. 
So he placed automatic riflemen and sharp-shooters in the 
wheatfield, and drew up the main body of his troops under 
the lea of the high inner bank of the river road, the one 
under which McKenna^s Battalion had formed for their at- 
tack. The Alabamas were under the same bank further to 
the right, while Anderson's men held the river bank and 
the wooded swampy ground across the valley to the left, 
keeping in touch with the Ohios, who were also along the 

The afternoon and night passed without any special in- 
fantry action. When the strength of the enemy resistance 
became manifest, the artillery were put to work. Both 
regiments of our divisional light artillery were given to 
the 83rd Infantry Brigade : The 151st (Minnesota) behind 
us and the 149th (Illinois) behind the Ohios. Further back 
our heavies, the 150th (Indiana) and Corps Artillery were 
sending their huge missiles over our heads at the enemy's 
position. The edges of the forest of Nesles and the roads 
behind were heavily shelled. This led the enemy to a great 
deal of counter-battery work, and the infantry had it easier. 
But their shelters were exposed at all tinies to machine gun 


fire and it was dangerous for a man to lift up his head. 
Companies B and C successively held the hill slope and had 
many casualties. Captain Reilley was wounded, but kept 
right on till the whole battle was over. Tommy Mooney 
was hit four times and came off the hill joking with his 
friends, who had so often said that he was too thin for a 
German to hit him. B Company lost good men in James 
Phillips, William Doyle, Michael Tierney, Joseph Cham- 
bers, John A. Lane and Thomas Kelley. That night, too, 
Barney Barry, soldier and saint, pulled the latchstrings of 
the gate of Paradise. From C Company also Mat Carberry 
and Richard Dieringer, Joe Augustine and John O'Connor, 
good lads all and true, received their mortal wounds and 
John J. Campbell and John F. Autry, litter bearers of Com- 
pany A, were killed while performing their work of mercy. 

By morning the plans were made for a new alignment 
for attack. The 165th Infantry was to sweep the valley 
along both sides of the brook, with Bois Colas on the left 
of it, and Meurcy Farm on the right, as their immediate 
objectives. The second battalion was to be in close support. 
Further left, the Ohios were to advance on the right of the 
French and occupy the Village of Seringes et Nesles. The 
movement of the 84th Brigade was co-ordinated with the 
advance of the 83rd. 

This called for a shifting of Donovan's battalion to the 
left, to face up the valley. The movement was carried out 
in the early morning of Monday, July 29th, with few losses, 
but one of them a costly one. Lieutenant Daly, thinking as 
usual of the safety of his men, and paying little attention 
to himself, was killed. Well, as Lieutenant Burke had said 
of him two days before, there was no place else he would 
rather be. His sacrifice was made with a generous heart. 

The Battalion was lined up in the following order. Right 
of the brook. Company A, with Lieutenant Baldwin in the 
lead, and Company B in support, under Captain Reilley, 
their mission being to debouch from the scattered trees 
which concealed them, and advance up the gentle slope 


forward and right to Meurcy Farm. On the left, Company 
C, under Captain Bootz, had the van, with Company D, 
under Lieutenant Connelly, in support. Their work was to 
push on to the left of the brook and clean up Bois Colas, 
a thickly wooded clump of trees about as big as three 
city blocks, which lay two hundred yards west of the 

Company A had only one officer with them in the attack 
as Lieutenant D'Aguerro, with Sergeants Duff and Schmidt, 
had charge of a platoon whose duty it was to carry am- 
munition. Lieutenant Baldwin, an earnest, courageous 
man, was in command, with Sergeant Thomas J. Sweeney 
as First Sergeant. They advanced at eight o'clock in the 
morning and were immediately made to feel that they 
were in for a hard time. There were German machine guns 
now in Meurcy Farm and on both sides of it. The shelling, 
too, was vigorous, as all their motions could be seen and 
reported. Sergeants Fred Garretson and Don Matthews 
led a detachment with great prudence and dexterity, cap- 
turing one of the machine gun nests and seven prisoners. 
The direct attack against the farm, however, was not to be 
successful that day. Sergeant Scully, who had been badly 
wounded in the Luneville raid, was wounded again early in 
the fight. Acting Sergeant Willie Mehl, whose father used 
to bring him to our encampment as a lad, was also hit; 
and many another good man was put out of action forever. 
Corporal Petersilze was killed and Corporal Michael O' Sul- 
livan, a big, bright, good-natured giant, whom I had held in 
my arms as a baby, and another of the Campbells of Com- 
pany A, Louis, this time, slender Harry Kane and sturdy 
Dan O'Connell, Stephen Curtin, who did good work 
with his automatic; James Ronan, Leroy Hanover, 
Joseph P. Myers, James Robinson, John Gray, John 
Williams, Clyde Evans, John Boneslawski, William Barton, 
John Gilluly, John Rice, William Thompson, W. V. Kelley, 
John Fisher, Dennis Donovan, Fred Floar, William Mallin, 
were killed on the field. Fred Finger was killed going back 


with the wounded. Tom Fleming and Charles Mack died 
in the dressing station, and Anthony Michaels, Albert Poole, 
James Tiffany, Patrick Carlisle and Edward Blanchard died 
of wounds in the hospital. 

Lieutenant Baldwin was in the van waving his pistol, 
when a machine gun bullet struck him in the chest. His 
. last words were: **Sergeant (to Sweeney), carry out the 
ii orders!" His spirit animated the brave men who followed. 
Moreover, they had still a fine leader in Tom Sweeney, and 
I they kept pushing ahead, some of them meeting their fate 
\ under the very walls of the farm. It was all that they 
'; could do. One officer and twenty-five men of the dimin- 
ished company were killed that morning. Multiply the 
deaths by six to get the total casualties and one can see 
that few indeed were left. Sergeant Sweeney ordered his 
men to dig in and wait. They were still full of spirit 
and vigor. Major Donovan tells of the impression made 
on him by a New York High School boy who carried his 
messages under fire with a cigarette nonchalantly drooping 
from his lip, coming and going as if he were an A. D. T. 
messenger on Broadway. It was Harold Henderson. Ed. 
Chamberlain, whom I had always admired, also did credit 
to the good opinion of his friends. He was hit across the 
stomach and as he rose to go back, holding the ripped 
edges together to keep his bowels from falling out, he said 
to Sweeney: "Have you any messages for the rear?" 

It was some hours after Lieutenant Baldwin's death that 
Lieutenant Henry Kelley arrived with Major Donovan's 
orders to assume command. "Hec" Kelley, a young lawyer 
who enlisted as a private in B Company when we went to 
the Border, w^as never one to take good care of himself 
in a fight. He lasted just half an hour and was carried back 
with a bad wound which robbed us of his hearty, courage- 
ous presence for the rest of the war. Sweeney and the rest 
stuck it out till morning. Corporal John F. Dennelly, who 
had left his country newspaper in Long Island to join 
the 69th, spent the night with an outpost which was busy 


discouraging the nocturnal efforts of the Germans to erect 
barbed wire defenses in front of the farm. 

In the morning the remnants of Company A withdrew a 
slight distance down the valley to merge with Company 
B. This Company, too, had had its losses. One platoon, 
under Lieutenant Wheatley, was in line with Company A, 
and the rest of them were close behind. Lieutenant Wheat- 
ley met the usual fate of officers in this battle by being 
wounded. Timothy McCarthy, Denis Bagley and Albert 
Lambert were killed and Phil Schron died at the dressing- 
station. It was a pleasant surprise to everybody in the 
Company that their gigantic captain, Tom Reilley, was not 
hit again, as he walked around using a rifle for a crutch 
and exposing his massive frame to the enemy. But he es- 
caped with no further wounds. 

Company A failed to get the farm that day, but their 
dogged persistence helped to make the task of Company C 
an easier one. This Company was led by Captain Bootz 
with Lieutenants Irving, Allen, Betty, Stone and Fried- 
lander. They advanced with their right near to the brook 
and their left on the slope of the hill towards Scringes. A 
machine gun on the south edge of Bois Colas hampered 
them, but they got up one of our guns with Lieutenant Da- 
vis and Sergeant John O'Leary and soon put it out of action. 
When they got to the woods they beat their way through 
them cautiously, expecting every moment to find resistance, 
but they met; only one frightened German who was glad 
when they made him prisoner. From the other side they 
could see a disconcerted enemy dotting the slopes in front of 
the forest of Nesles. The riflemen immediately got busy 
and when Lieutenants Davis and Bell came up with the 
machine guns, commanded by Captain Seibert, tlie field-gray 
uniforms disappeared under their fire. 

The first platoon, under Lieutenant Allen, had harder 
going. Its task was to cover the left flank as the line ad- 
vanced, which brought the men along the top of the hill, 
where they suffered severely. Sergeant Crittenden was 


killed and Louis Torrey, a pious lad, Charles Geary also, 
and Carlton Ellis and R. J. Schwartz. Sergeant Dan Garvey 
and Frank Daley, John J. Murphy, Patrick Cronin and one 
of the Gordon brothers were fatally wounded and carried 
off the field. Harry McAllister was badly wounded. Big, 
impulsive Mike Cooney carried him down through a rain of 
fire to the bottom and then went back through it to get 
his rifle. James Allen lay out on the hill moaning. Harry 
Horgan started up to get him but was killed before reaching 
him. Thomas O'Connor crept up cautiously and coolly. 
He was stooping to pick him up when a bullet struck him 
and he fell on the body of his comrade. Nothing daunted, 
Michael Ruane and William McCarthy made their way up 
that hill of death and carried down their wounded comrade. 
Both Allen and McAllister afterwards died of their wounds. 
The biggest price paid for the capture of Bois Colas was 
when the courageous soldier and trusted leader. Captain 
Henry Bootz, was put out of action by a bullet which 
passed through his chest from side to side. He had a wound 
which would have killed an ordinary man, but he merely 
grinned, took his pipe which he used in action to signal to 
his men and threw it to Lieutenant Betty, saying: **Here, 
son, I won't need this for a while." He started back, fol- 
lowed by his faithful orderly, Michael Sypoula, better 
known as "Zip," who had gotten a wound himself and was 
happy that he had a reason for sticking to his beloved Cap- 
tain. First Sergeant Gene Halpin and Maguire assisted 
Captain Bootz to the rear. Lieutenant Friedlander had also 
received a dangerous face wound and had been carried off 
the field by Austin McSweeney of the Headquarters Com- 

Major Donovan, never happy unless in the middle of 
things, had gone up the bed of the brook so as to keep 
ahead of the advance of C on the left and A on the right. 
Lieutenant Ames, his Adjutant, was with him, led by de- 
votion as well as duty, for the Major was his ideal leader. 
They lay half in the brook, resting on the bank, when a 


sniper's bullet from the farm yard whizzed past Dono- 
van's ear and struck Ames in the head, liberating for larger 
purposes a singularly attractive and chivalrous soul. 

Lieutenant Connelly tells of coming up with Sergeant 
Tom O'Malley and Corporal Gribbon to receive orders from 
the Major about taking over the line from Company C. 
He did not know just where to find him until he met Bootz 
going down the brook bed with his faithful attendants. 
Following up the stream he found Donovan still in the 
water with Ames's body by his side. The Major also had 
received a bullet wound in the hand. Nearby, Pete Gilles- 
pie, whose machine gun was out of order, was absorbed 
in the game of getting the sniper who had killed the Lieu- 
tenant. All stopped to watch him and his rifle. Pete settled 
down, intent on a dead horse near the farm. Suddenly 
he saw something had moved behind it. He cuddled his 
rifle, waited and fired. They could see the sniper behind 
the horse half rise, then drop. The beloved Lieutenant was 

The day's work had improved the situation immensely. 
Control of Bois Colas gave a better command of the ter- 
rain northwards to the edge of the forest, although Bois 
Brule, a narrow strip of woods which lay between, was still 
alive with machine guns. Meurcy Farm was not vet occu- 
pied, but its capacity for being troublesome was reduced by 
its being outflanked by our left. Anderson's battalion held 
the lower slopes of the hill that had been taken by the third 
battalion the first day, and kept the Germans from re- 
occupying it permanently. Anderson was in touch with the 
84th Brigade which was on the same line with himself. 
The lowas and part of the Alabamas had taken the town 
of Sergy. It was a tough nut to crack, and took all the 
dash of the Southerners and the stubborn persistence of 
the Westerners to conquer and hold it. The elements of 
the regiment on our immediate right delayed their ad- 
vance until the whole brigade was in a position to move| 


The other regiment in our Brigade made a fine advance 
on our left. The 2nd Battalion passed through the first, and 
after our regiment had taken Bois Colas, the Ohios could 
be seen pushing up to the road running from Fere en Tar- 
denois to Meurcy Farm. To co-operate with them Major 
Donovan sent Lieutenant Betty with what was left of 
Company C (sixty-five men) to move with their fiank, 
Company D holding Bois Colas with forty-two men. The 
Ohios kept advancing and by nightfall had captured the 
southern half of Seringes et Nesles. The upper portion 
which curved over to the top of our valley was not occupied 
until the German retreat had begun. 

The situation was set for a further advance. Headquar- 
ters at regiment, brigade, and division were busy preparing 
for it and the Artillery were ready to co-operate. They 
had been shelling Bois Brule just in front of us, and the 
upper edge of Seringes et Nesles and the edge of the forest 
all day. Telephone lin6s had been stretched to the front 
by the 117th Signal Battalion and our own signal section of 
Headquarters Company. 

These were exceedingly busy days at Colonel McCoy's 
P. C, for at last there was a spot that one could dignify 
with the title of Post of Command. The first day of the 
battle there had been three or four posts in succession. On 
Saturday evening Colonel McCoy was in the Chateau de 
Fere, but when he got orders for his regiment to make 
the attack he went forward with them himself to join Mc- 
Kenna near the river. When the battalion went over he 
set up his headquarters right there in a shallow trench on 
the exposed river slope. It seemed no place for a com- 
manding officer on whom so much had to depend, but he 
made up his mind that it was his place to be where he could 
view the battle himself, as there was no speedy way for him 
to get information, and the immediate decision concerning 
the actions and fate of his men would rest largely on his 
own judgment. These were his reasons; but there is al- 
ways a good deal of the element of personality back of 


anybody's reasons. And Frank R. McCoy, soldier of five 
campaigns, would naturally see the force of reasons which 
brought him as close as possible to the firing line. The 
Germans began to argue the point in their usual violent 
way, but the Colonel remained unconvinced. 

Lieutenant Rerat was wounded slightly in that hole, and 
many men hurt around it. Finally Captain Hurley was 
badly wounded while reporting to his Chief, and the Staff 
united with the Germans in arguing that it was not the 
best place to do regimental business. So Colonel McCoy 
brought them back a ways to a sunken road that ran across 
the town. Here the shelling pursued them and Lieutenant 
B. B. Kane, a fine, manly fellow, received a mortal wound 
from a shell that exploded a few feet from where he was 
standing in a group around the Colonel. 

Meanwhile the reliable Captain Michael J. Walsh had 
been scouring the town for a suitable place, and had found 
one in the cellar of a house still nearer the lines, but acces- 
sible to messengers from the orchards on the east, thus 
obviating the trip through Dead Man's Curve. 

On the morning of the 29th Colonel McCoy with Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Mitchell went up to look over the whole sit- 
uation and consult with Donovan and Anderson. The decks 
were now cleared for a battle. The telephone was in to the 
front line, to the Brigade Post of Command, and to the 
Artillery. There was a chance for a commanding officer 
to be of real service to the Battalion Commanders. With 
the telephone to the front and rear at his elbow, he had 
the strings in his hands, and he certainly kept pulling those 
strings day and night. A message would come in from an 
O. P. (Observation Post) where Captain Elmer and Cor- 
poral Bob Lee were on the watch : "Shells needed on ma- 
chine gun nests at crest of hill 195.45-274.05 to 196. i- 
274.5." Or one from Donovan : "Important to shell Bois 
Brule, where forty machine gun emplacements are re- 
ported." And Lieutenant Weaver, a smart youngster from 
the 151st Field Artillery, would be put on the job in a sac- 


ond. Or it might be a message of the Colonel to General 
Lenihan in response to a call from Donovan : *'Cut out fire 
on neck of woods south of Bois Brule. It is endangering 
our Infantry in Bois Colas." Night and day that tele- 
phone was working, receiving news from the front, ef- 
fecting co-operation with neighboring regiments or sending 
back requests for barrages, counter-battery work, food sup- 
plies, ammunition, ambulances, air service. Soldiers in the 
line never fully realize how much their lives, and victory, 
which is more to them than their lives, depend on the alert- 
ness and intelligence of those in command. 

It was an interesting group at the regimental P. C, 
McCoy with his spare soldierly figure and his keen sol- 
dierly face, radiant with the joy of action and the prospects 
of victory, always a stimulus to those who might be down- 
hearted. For the first day, as operations officer, he had 
George McAdie, patient, painstaking and enduring, until the 
order came, less endurable to him than an enemy bullet, that 
he should proceed forthwith for duty at a home station. 
A hard sentence for a bom soldier in the middle of a battle. 
And succeeding him Merle-Smith, just come out of the car- 
nage, with an untidy bandage around his wounded arm, but 
with his mind set only on his job. Alert youngsters, Lieu- 
tenants Rerat, Seidelman, Jim Mangan, Heinel (afterwards 
wounded) and Preston, with Captain Jack Mangan drifting 
in occasionally to see if his supplies were coming up satis- 

And next to the Colonel was one big personality dominat- 
ing all ; the rugged personality of Captain Michael J. Walsh, 
old soldier and solid man. He was disgusted with hie part 
in the conflict. ''I came out here to be a soldier and I am 
nothing but a damn room orderly," he growled. But who 
fed the hungry fighting men? Captain Michael Walsh. 
Who scoured the yards of houses for utensils to send up 
the food to them? Captain Michael Walsh. Who saw 
that the ammunition was delivered on time to the front 
line. Once more, Captain Walsh. And the Colonel, when 


there was a task of real importance to perform, never 
delegated it to the bright young men ; he always said : "Cap- 
tain Walsh will attend to that/' 

The principal task for July 30th was assigned to the 
84th Brigade. They were to try to get forward and even up 
the line on our right. The Ohios were to hold fast, but 
Donovan requested to take advantage of the forward move- 
ment on the right to improve our position with reference 
to Bois Brule. Company C was still in line west of Bois 
Colas maintaining our connection with the Ohios. Com- 
pany D was at the upper edge of this woods with the ma- 
chine gunners under Captain Seibert, Lieutenants Doris, 
Davis and Bell. Companies B and A were dug in around 
the approaches to the farm. Food came up on the night of 
the 29th for the first time. The men were all hungry, as 
their reserve rations had been consumed long before. Lieu- 
tenant Springer had been sent to take command of Com- 
pany A, succeeding Lieutenant D'Aguerro, who had been 
wounded in his turn. He and his First Sergeant, Tom 
Sweeney, were sitting on the edge of a hole preparing to en- 
joy a can of corn when one bullet got both of them. They 
were helped back to the dressing station and Sergeant Hig- 
ginson took command. The affair had its compensations. 
Higginson and young Henderson got the com. 

Major Donovan's Post of Command was a hole at the 
southern edge of Bois Colas. Lieutenant Ames' body had 
been brought in during the night and buried nearby. Ames* 
place as battalion adjutant was filled by Sergeant Joyce 
Kilmer, whose position as Sergeant of the Intelligence Sec- 
tion would naturally have entitled him to a place nearer 
regimental headquarters. But he had preferred to be with 
a battalion in the field and had chosen Donovan's. The 
Major placed great reliance on his coolness and intelligence 
and kept him by his side. That suited Joyce, for to be at 
Major Donovan's side in a battle is to be in the center of 
activity and in the post of danger. To be in a battle, a 
battle for a cause that had his full devotion, with the regi- 


ment he loved, under a leader he admired, that was living at 
the top of his being. On the morning of the 30th Major 
Donovan went forward through the woods to look over the 
position. Kilmer followed, unbidden. He lay at the north 
edge of the woods looking out towards the enemy. The 
Major went ahead, but Kilmer did not follow. Donovan 
returned and found him dead. A bullet had pierced his 
brain. His body was carried in and buried by the side of 
Ames. God rest his dear and gallant soul. 

At 3 :30 that afternoon the 84th Brigade had made prog- 
ress, though it was slow and difficult going. The artillery 
was doing good work but all their efforts could not keep 
down the fire of the German Machine Gunners. The grati- 
fying surprise of the day was when two escadrilles of 
friendly planes came over. Our companies in the line had 
not been pushed very hard. They repelled a couple of 
counter attacks on their position, and the machine gun- 
ners were on the alert to fire whenever our artillery work on 
Bois Brule started the Germans running. 

Donovan was to move forward when the progress of 
the 84th Brigade brought them abreast of him. But regi- 
ments, brigades, and it was said, divisions, sloped away to 
the right like steps of stairs, and each was hanging back for 
the others to come up. So Major Donovan insisted on 
making a try for Bois Brule without waiting for any 
help except what our Brigade would give. Colonel Hough 
was perfectly willing to back him up. So Lieutenant Con- 
nelly with Company D moved out to the attack. 

It was the pitiful remnant of a company, one officer and 
forty-two men instead of the six officers and two hundred 
and fifty men who formerly swung along like an old time 
battalion in the parades on the Hempstead Plains. But 
the few who were left were inured to danger by patrols 
and raids and battles, and they were ready for anything. 
The ground in front was rough and hummocky for two 
hundred yards, and then a double row of trees led up to the 
Bois Brule. At the right it sloped off to the brook where 


it ran past Meurcy Farm. Sergeant Dick O'Neill was to 
cover the ground in front with fifteen men, including Mas- 
terson, Peterson, Bedient, Gugliere, McGee, McAree, Stod- 
dard, Lord, and Edward Moran. 

Lieutenant Cook led a smaller number of picked men to 
work to the right and up the bed of the brook, cooperating 
with Companies A and B working around the farm. In 
his command were John Gribbon, his red head an oriflamme 
of war; Colton Bingham, the fighting nephew of the gentle 
Bishop of Buffalo, John Curtin, a tall young Irishman who 
afterwards became regimental standard bearer, Tommy 
Blake, later Lieutenant Blake, and the steadiest of riflemen, 
Pat McDonough. Lieutenant Connelly came in the rear of 
his skirmish line where he could control their movements. 
With him were his First Sergeants Edward Geaney, Ser- 
geant Hubert Murray, Corporal John F. Moran and others. 
Tom O'Malley had already been wounded. 

Some distance out there was a deep, irregular sand pit. 
O'Neill, carefully rounding the corner of it, suddenly saw 
right under his eyes a body of about 25 Germans. He 
uttered a shout of warning and jumped into the midst of 
them with his pistol cracking. He had shot down three Ger- 
mans before they realized what was happening, and pro- 
duced great confusion amongst them. Some rushed to the 
other side of the pit while others began firing at O'Neill, 
who kept firing after he was hit, and when finally carried 
back to the dressing station had seven bullets in him. The 
Germans who had run across the sand pit found themselves 
face to face with Lieutenant Connelly and his little group. 
What followed was as sudden, as confused in plan, and as 
'resolute in spirit as the action around the log house in 
Stevenson's Treasure Island. The Company D men came 
running from all sides to take part in the fighting. On our 
side Connelly was hit; also Geaney, Gribbon and McDon- 
ough. And James J. Gugliere, Paul McGee, Louis Peterson 
and Rollie Bedient were killed. This all happened in an in- 
stant. The Germans paid a fearful price for it. Those that 


T/ere left scrambled out of the pit to flee in the direction of 
their own forces. There they saw the advance elements of 
O'Neill's section running back toward them, and they turned 
toward Bois Colas at a headlong gait. The cry went up 
that a counter attack was coming. Colonel Hough saw it 
and telephoned to our headquarters. Anderson heard back 
in the woods and stormed up from the support with re- 
inforcements. Our machine-guns were turned on the ad- 
vancing Germans ; and the advent of a few bedraggled pris- 
oners in dirty field gray uniforms let the rear line see that 
the counter-attack was a myth. The whole business was 
over in a few minutes. 

But the Germans in Bois Brule were again at work 
sweeping the ground with their bullets and it was under 
fierce fire that John Burke, Joe Lynch, McAulifTe, Bing- 
ham and Blake carried in Lieutenant Connelly and the other 
wounded. Sergeant Murray took command and kept the 
survivors going forward until they had outposts estab- 
lished in the approaches to Bois Brule. 

Besides those already mentioned. Company D lost, killed 
in these three days, Corporal Frank Fall, Privates George 
Johnson, Terance McAree, John McCormick, Michael Ro- 
manuk, Harvey J, Venneman, Robert LufT, Frank J. Lack- 
ner, Attilio Manfredi, Edward G. Coxe, John Dolan and the 
senior of the two Michael J. Sheas, who died of his wounds. 

July 31st was a day of comparative quiet. The longer 
the struggle lasted the more it was borne in upon the Lords 
of High Decision that the ousting of the enemy from their 
position was a matter for artillery. It was the first time 
we had the opportunity to observe with reluctant admiration 
the German development of the use of the machine gun in 
defensive warfare. To send infantry in under the intense 
fire of their numerous guns was like feeding paper to a 
flame. Our artillery, however, was good, — none better 
in the whole war, we confidently assert, and we waited with 
assurance for them to reduce the resistance, li our air serv- 
ice were sufficiently developed to give them good photo- 


graphs of positions, and to register their fire, we felt sure 
that the Infantry would soon be in a position to make short 
work of enemy opposition. 

That day we had our first experience of another auxilliary 
arm. The day before there landed at the regimental P. C. 
a section of our 30th Engineers, our Gas and Flame regi- 
ment. With them there was an Australian officer with a 
name that would qualify him for the 69th, and a young 
lieutenant who, we discovered after he was killed, was a son 
of the famous baseball manager, Ned Hanlan of Baltimore. 
They came out with their men on the 31st and threw over 
thermite and smoke bombs on Bois Brule and Meurcy Farm. 
Under their protection Company D occupied the woods. 

Company A, under Lieutenant Stone, finally took pos- 
session of the Farm. The first attempt failed. A patrol 
led by Corporal Sidney Clark started up but four men were 
hit in the first three minutes, Michaels dying of his wounds. 
Another attempt was made in the evening and the farm 
was occupied by a patrol under Corporals John Dennelly 
and Van Arsdale. 

It was evident that the enemy's resistance was weaken- 
ing and that it would be a matter of a very short period 
before he would retreat to his next line of defence. On 
August 1st the 3rd Battalion relieved the ist in fine. Com- 
pany M had had serious losses after being drawn out from 
the line on July 28th, as the battalion had been bombed 
in its reserve position at the sunken road, and the Company 
had suffered other losses in a ration detail which was caught 
out under a heavy fire. Of its officers, Lieutenant Hunt 
Warner was badly wounded; Lieutenant Collier was 
wounded but stuck to his post. Edward Brennan, Hugh 
Kaiser, Alfred Schneider and Johnnie Madden were killed 
and Sergeant Nicholson wounded. Captain Meaney and 
Lieutenants Mclntyre and Bunnell escaped uninjured. Lieu- 
tenant Mclntyre was blown into the Ourcq by the concus- 
sion of a shell, but he stuck to his task till he finished it. 

Company K also suffered further disaster while in re- 


serve, and Sergeants Peter Crotty and Bernard McElroy, 
who had done prodigious deeds in action, received mortal 
wounds; and also William Bergen, who did more work 
as a stretcher bearer than any other man I have ever seen 
in a battle. Louis Gilbert and Everett Seymour of Com- 
pany L were killed in the same bombardment and Sam Klo- 
senberg fatally wounded. 

In fact, the town of Villers sur Fere was throughout the 
action a part of the battlefield. Its church square at the 
northern end was not more than a thousand yards from 
the place of actual conflict. The front line forces were at 
times too near each other to allow artillery fire from either 
side, as each side had to avoid the danger of shelling its 
own infantry — an event which is always most disastrous to 
the morale of troops. But the approaches to Villers sur 
Fere lay under the eyes of the enemy, and they could see 
a constant stream of liaison men, litter bearers, hobbling 
■wounded, and food and ammunition carriers going in by the 
entrance to its one street. They knew it to be the center 
of our web so they very wisely concentrated most of their 
fire upon it and especially on the square which opened out 
after the short narrow northern entrance of Dead Man's 
Curve. Even before dawn they had been raking its streets 
as a natural mode of approach of an oncoming enemy, kill- 
ing and wounding a large number of men. Indeed nearly 
one-third of those who lost their lives in this action re- 
ceived their death wounds from shell fire in and around 
Villers sur Fere. 

Early in the morning of July 28th, Lieutenant Joseph J. 
Kilcourse, Medical Officer attached to the Third Battalion, 
had opened his aid post in the schoolhouse facing on the 
square, and the development of the battle soon made it the 
regimental dressing station. The schoolhouse quickly 
filled up with wounded. A constant stream of limping men, 
of men with bandages around their heads or with arms 
carried in rough slings, of men borne on rud,e litters, were 
coming into town along the narrow entrance. No ambu- 


lances had gotten through and there were no directions as 
to where a triage could be found. The courtyard in front 
of the hospital was filled with ''walking cases," discussing 
the battle with that cheerfulness which is always character- 
istic of soldiers who are not fatally wounded. A menacing 
whiz came through the air and a shell fell amongst them, 
followed by two others, one of which struck the wall and 
spattered the litter cases with plaster and broken bricks. 
The survivors in the yard scattered in all directions but 
nine of them lay quivering or motionless. Lieutenant Kil- 
course ran out sobbing and swearing and working like mad 
to save his patients from further harm. Those who could 
walk were started down the road towards the Chateau de 
Foret in the hope of being picked up by an ambulance or 
truck. Inside the hospital nobody was seriously hurt, but 
the men of the Sanitary Detachment labored energetically to 
get them into places of comparative safety. These were 
Sergeant ist Class William Helgers, James Mason, James 
McCormack, Ferraro, Planeta, Larsen and Daly. 

Before long. Lieutenants Lyttle, Martin, Mitchell and 
Lawrence had arrived, and the wounded received all the i 
attention they could be given with the facilities at hand. 
But the worst cases lay there till the next morning before 
they could be evacuated. They bore their sufferings with 
cheerful fortitude, their thoughts being for others. Father 
Hanley was sore because he had been put out so soon. Ser- 
geant John Donahue's thoughts were with his beloved 
Company L; Tommy Delaney, an innocent lovable boy, 
talked of his mother and what a good son to her he had 
planned to be if he had lived, and Tom Mansfield, with his 
leg shattered, was full of Irish pride that he had been given 
a chance to be in a big battle with the "Ould Rigiment." 

Headquarters Company was located in town in the shat- 
tered houses and stables but most of its sections had to 
take a frequent part in field operations. The signal section, 
under Lieutenant James Mangan, labored at great risk in 
putting down the wires for connection with the front line 


on the night of July 28th. , Sergeant Beall, Corporal Bro- 
chen and Privates J. McCabe, Kirwin and Olson kept the 
lines intact, while the remainder of the platoon did great 
service as ammunition bearers. The intelligence section 
under Captain Elmer had an observation post 100 yards 
northwest of Villers sur Fere which did excellent work in 
reporting machine gun nests and the direction of fire of 
' enemy artillery. Dick Larned acted as Chief of Scouts with 
the Third Battalion and Joyce Kilmer and Levinson with 
the First Battalion. In the headquarters section little Cor- 
poral Malone was on the job day and night with his run- 
ners. Edward Mulligan of this section was killed. 

Coming to what we might call the Infantry Artillery, the 
Stokes mortar platoon rendered excellent service through- 
out the battle. Two sections of this platoon under Ser- 
geants Jaeger and Fitzsimmons took up the advance with 
the Infantry on July 27th. Early Sunday morning, July 
28th, an infantry patrol drew fire from enemy machine guns 
located on the banks of the Ourcq river. Major McKenna 
called for one trench mortar, and a gun crew in charge of 
Sergeant Fitzsimmons and Corporal Harvey reported and 
shelled the enemy position in front of the Ourcq. At three 
in the morning Colonel McCoy ordered a barrage to be 
fired by the four guns on a machine gun nest. This was 
done and then the men waited for the advance of the In- 
fantry at 4:30. When the first wave started to cross the 
Ourcq a barrage was laid down until the troops had crossed 
the river and were ascending the height beyond it. The 
men then followed the advance as far as the river when 
they were ordered back to their position of reserve in the 
village. It was during this advance that John Perry, a fine 
youth, received the wound which later caused his death. 

On July 29th, one section under Lieutenant Frank Mc- 
Namara and Sergeant Cudmore, entered the lines to sup- 
port the first battalion. This section fired an effective bar- 
rage when the enemy attempted a counter-attack. During 
this action Private Malcolm Robertson was killed by an 


enemy shell and Sergeant Cudmore and F. Garvey werejl 
wounded. On August ist at two in the afternoon one gun 
was set up in front of the woods facing Meurcy Farm. 
Despite the fact that enemy aeroplanes constantly harassed | 
them, machine gun nests in and about Meurcy Farm were I 
shelled with good results. After two hours work the men :^ 
were driven to cover by enemy machine guns, Corporal 
Clark and Private Casey receiving severe wounds. The 
platoon was relieved on August 2nd and lent their aid to the 
burying of the dead. 

The ^y mm. guns, commonly known as the one-pound- 
ers did excellent work, the small platoon paying a heavy 
price in losses. On July 28th, three members of the crew 
were killed with one shell in the village square as they were 
advancing with their gun — Cornelius Grauer, Joseph 
Becker, Frank Guida — Grauer, a youngster of seventeen, 
being a particular favorite with everybody that knew him. 
On July 30th the platoon took part in the attack on Meurcy 
Farm. During the operations the crew were caught in a 
box barrage by the enemy artillery and serious wounds were 
sustained by Sergeant Willemin, who was in command, and 
Privates Monohan, B. J. McLaughlin, John Seifried and 
John Kelly. Although the crew was almost entirely wiped 
out, the gun was kept in action by Corporal Charlie Lester 
and Private Berry. Another gun crew under command of 
Lieutenant Joseph O'Donohue was kept going all morning 
and did great execution. Of this crew John C. McLaughlin 
was killed while firing his gun. 

The members of the Company whose duties detained 
them in the village worked for the interest of the whole 
regiment in positions almost equally exposed with those 
in the front line. Captain Walsh, a soldier of many cam- 
paigns, knew what the men in line needed was not encour- 
agement (he took it for granted that every man had cour- 
age) nor sympathy (his own feeling was one of envy of 
them), but ammunition and food. His own company kitchen 
worked night and day to feed everybody who came into 


town on any business. Mess Sergeant Louis Goldstein and 
Tooks John Wilker and Leo Maher, moved by his example, 

; up their kitchen under an arch just off the square and 
led 800 men a day while the engagement lasted. 

That square was an interesting sight throughout the bat- 
tle. Men drifted in, singly or in twos or in parties, fresh 
, from scenes of death. Liaison men, ammunition details, lit- 
ter bearers carrying stretchers dripping blood. They were 
fresh from the field where bullets were flying. They had 
been forced to drop on their faces as they crossed the val- 
ley under fire. They had scurried around Dead Man's 
Curve and they were still only about 1,000 yards from the 
fighting, with shells still screaming in the air above their 
heads and enemy planes forcing them to scuttle out of 
sight, but they were not breathless or. anxious or excited. 
They borrowed the "makings," or got a cup of coffee from 
John Wilker and stole a few minutes to gossip about the 
fight or to relate something that struck them as interest- 
ing. A year ago if one lone maniac had been lying in Cen- 
tral Park taking pot shots at passers-by going along Fifth 
Avenue they would have run down a side street calling for 
the Police, would have gotten home excited and out of 
breath, and would have stood outside of the church the 
next Sunday after ten o'clock Mass to tell all their friends 
what an adventure they had had. 

It was magnificent, but it was not war. Especially with 
the aeroplanes overhead. Those German aeroplanes — they 
circled over our troops in line, over our men in the rear. 
Colonel McCoy sent word to inquire about the aeroplanes 
that were promised us. General Lenihan wanted to know. 
General Menoher sent orders ; entreated. But the only ones 
we could see had the black Maltese cross — the same old 

There was but one thing to do if we would prevent a re- 
currence of the catastrophe which had already occurred at 
the hospital in that same square. And that was to prevent 
the men ^rom gathering there. The kitchen was moved to 


a less exposed spot. This was done to draw the men away 
from the square and not from any sense of timidity on the 
part of its operatives. On the contrary they had made a 
bold attempt to get that kitchen up to the front line. On 
the night of July 29th the bowld Jim Collintine had hitched 
his trusty mules to the beloved goulash wagon and driven 
it right up to the Ourcq. When they found they could not 
cross, the Mess Sergeant and cooks unloaded its contents 
for the men in line. Mooney of Company A tried the same 
thing, and, when the river stopped him, sent the food up 
on litters. 

One of the officers whose duties kept him near the hos- 
pital appointed himself as Police Officer in addition to his 
other duties, to keep the men under cover. On the second 
day of the fight he saw a tousled looking soldier without 
hat or rifle coming from a barn. 

*'What outfit do you belong to?" 

**I belong to the 165th Infantry, sir.'* 

*'What are you doing here?" 

"I came in last night with an ammunition detail and we 
got scattered under shell fire and I crawled into the barn." 

**Yes, you slept there all night and let the other fellows 
do your work. You must be a new man. But I see you 
have a service stripe." 

**Well, I am new in the regiment and I don't belong in 
this game. I was in the S. O. S. and they sent me up here 
as a replacement after I got into the hospital." 

"Where is your rifle." 

"I lost it and it ain't no good to me anyway cause I don*1 
know anything about it, and I can't see good anyway." 

The situation was too much for the officer and, like every- 
one else in emergency, his mind turned to Captain Walsh. 

"Go down that road about forty yards and you will see i 
farm yard with soldiers in it and ask for Captain Walsh 
Tell him I sent you and tell him the story you gave me." 

The hatless soldier obeyed very willingly because th« 
street led towards the rear. An hour later Captain Milf* 


breezed into the square and came over to the officer with 
the demand, 

"Who was that bird you sent me?" 

"What did you do with him, Mike?" 

"What did I do with him. I salvaged him a nice new 
rifle, strapped two bandoHers around him, led him gently 
out into the street, faced him north and said, 'Keep right 
on going in that direction until you see a Dutchman and 
when you see him shoot him for me/ And I gave him a 
good start with my boot and by the way he made his get- 
away I'll bet he's going yet." 

The Commander of our Sanitary Detachment was Cap- 
tain Wm. B. Hudson, who had been assigned to us from 
the 117th Sanitary Train when Major Lawrence was called 
to Division Headquarters. On July 28th, Captain Hudson 
had taken his post at the Chateau de Foret, General Leni- 
han's Headquarters, most of which the General had given 
over for the accommodation of the wounded who had man- 
aged to get back that far. Here, too, the wounded men met 
with fresh disaster. A German aeroplane dropped bombs 
in the courtyard and killed seven men, including Sergeant 
Brogan of Company B, one of the best men we had. 

On the next day Captain Hudson started to look for a 
better place for the wounded in Villers sur Fere, accompa- 
nied by the ever-faithful Jewett, the "Y" athletic instruc- 
tor. He was standing in the door of the place he had se- 
lected when an enemy gas shell came over and a fragment 
of it hit him full in the chest, killing him instantly. 

We buried him sadly by the cemetery wall where already 
too many of our men were lying in their last long sleep. 

In the town also we buried many who were killed by 
shell fire as they advanced to go into action during the night 
of the 27th-28th. In this our Machine gunners were the 
greatest sufferers; almost a whole platoon was wiped out. 
A shell landed in the midst of them, creating havoc. The 
uninjured rushed boldly to succor their comrades, when 
another shell and still another, fell in the same spot, scat- 


tering death afresh. Sergeant Phil Brooks here gave up 
his life and Ray Nulty, J. R. Keller, H. Van Diezelski, 
Frank Carlin, G. Foster and C. G. Sahlquist. 

Accompanying Lieutenant Connelly on his mission of the 
morning of the 28th was the Second Platoon of our Ma- 
chine Gun Company under Lieutenant Carter, who was 
wounded during the action.* The Platoon was kept to- 
gether by Sergeants Bruhn and Kerrigan, and Doherty, and 
afterwards went through the whole battle with our First 

While the first battalion was lying under the hill during 
the afternoon of the 28th they were very much harrassed 
by enemy planes which came across flying low and shoot- 
ing from their machine guns at the men on the hill and 
under the bank. Here Harry Martenson was killed and 
Hugh Heaney badly wounded and carried back by Ser- 
geant Devine. Sergeant Frank Gardella thought it was 
time to try reprisals, so he set up his machine gun as an 
anti-aircraft weapon and began blazing away at fourteen 
planes which were above his head and flying low. He got 
a line on two planes which were flying one above the other, 
and by a lucky shot hit the pilot of the upper plane which 
crashed into the lower one and both came tumbling to 
earth not far from the river, their crews being killed. 

When Company C was advancing towards Bois Colas 

they met opposition from enemy light machine guns some 

of which were operating from the tree tops. Lieutenant 

Bell's platoon. Sergeants Stephens and Gardella, Corporals 

J. McBride, Paul Fay and Williams were given the task of 

dislodging them. They carried up their heavy guns on 

their backs, and without taking time to set them up, they 

made use of them as if they were automatic rifles, with 

great effect, killing or capturing the enemy. 

* Wounded here were Harris, Fleckner, Lang, McDonald and later 
during the battle Sergeant Kerrigan, Hal Sang, Jack Corrigan, Bart 
Cox, William Patterson, James O'Connor, Maurice O'Keefe, H. 
McCallum, Frank S. Erard, Bob Holmes, J. J. Spillane and Tom 


From the time that Company C took possession of Bois 
Colas the Machine Gunners kept their pieces busy from 
their positions on the north edge of the woods, keeping 
down German fire from Seringes and around Meurcy Farm. 
Of their twelve guns, five were put out of action. In the 
later encounters Lieutenants Davis and Bell were wounded 
and Jack O'Leary, a famous fighting man, received a wound 
which afterwards caused his death. 

In the front line, on August ist, there was a comparative 
lull in the activity. Our artillery was still going strong, 
but the Germans held command of the air and used it to 
the full. They flew down to the rear of us and hovered 
over the tree-tops of the woods where our artillery was 
emplaced, dropping bombs on them and shooting at them 
from levels so low that the artillery men answered with 
fire from their pistols. 

It was the sudden leap of the cat at the dog's nose before 
she turns to flee. At four A. M., August 2nd, our patrols 
reported no resistance. Word was sent to the Ohios, but 
they found the enemy still in their path. However, under 
orders from General Menoher, the whole Division started 
forward and found that the main body of the enemy had 
gone. Our Infantry hastened on through the Foret de 
Nesles, keeping in touch with neighboring regiments left 
and right. Finally they encountered resistance near Moreuil 
en Dole, north of the forest. The 4th Division was coming 
up to relieve us but Colonel MacArthur wanted a last ef- 
fort made by his Division. He called on one regiment, 
then on another, for a further advance. Their command- 
ers said truthfully that the men were utterly fatigued and 
unable to go forward another step. "It's up to you, Mc- 
Coy," said the Chief of Staff. Our Colonel called Captain 
Martin Meaney, now in command of what was left of the 
third battalion. "Captain Meaney, a battalion is wanted 
to go ahead and gain contact with the enemy ; you may re- 
port on the condition of your men." "My men are few 
and they are tired, sir, but they are willing to go anywhere 


they are ordered, and they will consider an order to advance 
as a compliment," was the manly response. As the brave 
and gallant few swung jauntily to their position at the head 
of the Division, Colonel MacArthur ejaculated, ''By God, 
McCoy, it takes the Irish when you want a hard thing 
done." The battalion located the enemy and took up the 
fight with them, but already the 4th Division was coming 
up and the orders for relief were issued. 

In that bloody week the Rainbow Division had met the 
4th Prussian Guard Division, commanded by the Kaiser's 
son. Prince Eitel Friedrich, the 201st German and loth 
Landwehr and the 6th Bavarian Division, had driven them 
back 18 kilometers to the last ridge south of the Vesle at j 
a cost in killed and wounded of 184 officers and 5,459 men. 

Back came our decimated battalions along the way they 
had already traveled. They marched in wearied silence 
until they came to the slopes around Meurcy Farm. Then 
from end to end of the line came the sound of dry, sup- 
pressed sobs. They were marching among the bodies of 
their unburied dead. In the stress of battle there had been 
but little time to think of them — all minds had been turned 
on victory. But the men who lay there were dearer to them 
than kindred, dearer than life; and these strong warriors 
paid their bashful involuntary tribute to the ties of love and 
long regret that bind brave men to the memory of their 
departed comrades. 



August, 1918 
This is a dirty, dank, unwholesome spot and the daily 
rains make it daily more intolerable. But they are keeping 
us here in reserve till some division — they say our old 
townies of the 77th — has time to come up. The forest has 
been occupied by the Germans and its sanitary conditions 
are no credit to their boasted efficiency. Sixty per cent of 
our men are sick with diarrhoea and everybody is crawling 
with cooties. The men are sleeping in shelter tents or in 
holes in the ground in the woods and they are a sorry look- 
ing lot. 

A number of them have been busy with me in the heart- 
breaking task of burying the dead, which is hard for every- 
body, but particularly I think, for myself, because I knew 
these men so well and loved them as if they were my 
younger brothers. It has been the saddest day in my life. 
Well, it is the last act of love I can do for them and for the 
folks at home. God comfort them in their sorrow. I must 
* not think of the tragedy of it too much ; the main thing is to 
\ keep up the spirits of the living, for battles must still be 
fought and the awful price paid if the war is to be won. 
Many of us who have come through this will be dead after 
the next battle; and if the war lasts another year or so 
there will be few, very few left of the infantry in our First 
Hundred Thousand. It is a soldier's fate and we must be 
I ready for it. 

' In this one battle nearly half our strength is gone. We 
' have lost fifty-nine officers and thirteen hundred men and 




of these thirteen officers and about two hundred men have i 
been killed outright. Many of our wounded have been 
badly hurt and we shall have other details to grieve over.* 
But in spite of losses and sorrow and sickness I find the men 
surprisingly cheerful and willing to carry on. They have 
what soldiers most wish for, Victory. And they know now 
that the men who opposed their path and had to give way 
to their persistance were the famous Prussian Guards, of 
the very flower of the German Military Machine. The old 
69th had again lived up to its reputation of the past; there 
were no German troops, no troops in the world that could 
withstand its stubborn bravery. 

I went amongst the survivors to gather items for my 
chronicle of the war. I may say here as I rewrite these 
chapters that I have had to obtain many of the . incidents 
months afterwards from men that have been wounded, for 
many of those who could best tell the story were then lying 
suffering from agonizing wounds on hospital cots, and still 
burning with the courage and devotion of their race for the 
day when they could once more return to the post of danger 
with their beloved regiment. These are the real heroes of 
the war. It is easy under the stress of emotional enthusiasm 
to volunteer for service, but the true test of a man comes 
when, after he has faced the danger of sudden death and 

♦Final figures. 

Killed Wounded Missing 

Officers 14 45 o 

Enlisted Men 224 1,135 153 

Total Losses 238 1,180 153 

Grand Total 1,571 

Practically all of those marked "missing" were wounded men of 
whom no record was sent back to us from the hospitals. 

In the Luneville Sector our battle losses had been i officer and 29 
enlisted men killed; 19 officers and 408 enhsted men wounded. 

In the Baccarat Sector, 3 men killed and 8 wounded. 

In Champagne i officer and 43 men killed; 7 officers and 245 men 
wounded. Our missing on all three of these fronts was 9 men. 

Between March ist and August ist the Regiment lost 315 killed, 
1,867 wounded, 162 missing, making a grand total of 2,344, 


has passed through days of racking pain, he once more 
insists, in spite of offers of easier service from kindly offi- 
cers, on taking his place again in the battle line with his old 
comrades. And now that the war is over, there is nothing 
that stirs my blood like the petty arrogance of some officials 
in hospitals and casual camps who rebuke the requests of 
men (many of whom have been wounded and gone back 
into line and got wounded again) to rejoin their former 
outfits. My malison on their tribe. 

I shall present first the lists of names mentioned for good 
work (a soldier's meed) and afterwards incidents of more 
general interest. Company A gives credit to three snipers 
for working out to the front ahead of them and making the 
Fritzies keep their heads down during the attack on July 
29th : Corporal Charles Hallberg, Edwin Stubbs, and John 
McDonald. They also spoke highly of their Sergeants or 
Acting Sergeants on whom leadership devolved during the 
fight: Joseph Higginson, Joseph Pettit, John R. Scully, 
Hugh McFadden, Harry Blaustein, Will Mehl, Don Mat- 
thews, Michael Walsh, Frederick Garretson, Sidney Clark, 
and John Dennelly. With Dennelly in the occupation of 
Meurcy Farm were John Sheehy, Maurice Cotter, Pilger, 
Newton, Thorn, Iverson and Frechales. Besides Hender- 
son, those who distinguished themselves by liaison work 
were Corporal Lester Hanley, Joseph M. McKinney, Mi- 
chael Polychrom, Louis Tiffany, John Gannon and Edwin 
Dean. Litter Bearers: Matt Kane, Howard Hamm and 
in a volunteer capacity Cook Edward Mooney, Albert Coop- 
er, August Trussi. Others mentioned with high praise are 
Patrick Thynne, Patrick J. Doolin, Fred Stenson, John J. 
Morrissey, James Partridge, Paul Smith, John Barrett, 
Richard Campion, Louis Cornibert, Brady and Buckley. 

If Company B ever loses its big Captain they have al- 
ready a candidate of their own to succeed him in his senior 
lieutenant, John J. Clifford, a cool and capable officer, as 
all his men say. The greatest loss the Company has suf- 
fered is from the death of the First Sergeant, John O'Neill, 


a remarkable old soldier with regular army experience, 
who was frightfully wounded by shell fire while getting up 
supplies, and died in hospital. Al Dunn, a game youth, was 
hit by the same shell, but refused to allow anybody to touch 
him until O'Neill was looked after. Among other good 
men who received wounds were John Mooney, William 
Judge, Al Whalen, Harry Guenther, Dan Finnegan, 
Thomas Fitzpatrick, Vincent Farrell, Francis X. Goodwin, 
and William O' Sullivan. The platoon under Lieutenant 
Wheatley that joined the attack with Company A, had for 
its non-coms Edward Kelly, Langan, Cullinan, Travis, Pat- 
rick Kelly, Foster, Tinker, McClymont and Mearns. Lieu- 
tenant Clifford had high praise for Sergeant Thomas, who 
had gone out on the night of July 28th to repulse a coun- 
ter-attack of the Germans and, of those in the detachment, 
Connie Reuss, Corporal Michael Tierney, a Clare man, who 
was killed; and also amongst the killed Charles Chambers, 
a patriotic volunteer who leaves a wife to mourn him in the 
city of Dublin. James Dwyer, Joseph McCarthy, Joseph 
Maher and John A. Lane were also badly wounded. As 
John A. Lane was lying out in a very exposed position his 
namesake, John B. Lane, a lad of eighteen, and the pride 
of the Company as a clever little boxer, declared that he was 
going out to carry the other in. He did so without scath, 
but was killed three days later in front of Meurcy Farm. 
Private Frank McGovern received praise for a similar ac- 
tion on the 29th; also Harold Kyte, Thomas Walsh, John 
O'Connor, James Lannon, James Austin and John Mat- 
thews, litter bearers. John Mahoney especially distin- 
guished himself in this line, carrying the wounded to the 
rear and then lugging up food for the surviving fighters. 
Good liaison work was done by Charles Weick, James 
Murray, James Brennan, Ed. Powers, Jim Brundage, Ar- 
thur LaSalle, and John Kane, a youngster of seventeen. 
Thomas Herlihy and Charles Kavanagh were also com- 

Inquiry at Company C gave me the name of John Teevan, 


who on the 31st left cover to save a wounded comrade and 
was himself wounded while doing it; Sergeant Herman Hil- 
lig, always a good man, who led the advance patrol on the 
29th; Corporal Frank Drivdahl, who took charge of a half 
platoon when his seniors were wounded and led it intt> 
handgrips with the enemy. All of the non-coms distin- 
guished themselves. First Sergeant Gene Halpin, always a 
steady leader; Tom O'Hagan, the beau ideal of an Irish 
soldier; Sergeants Joe Hennessey, John Knight, John Mc- 
Auliffe, Peter Keller, Frank Colyer, Corporals Frank Duffy, 
James Barry, Charles Quinn, Edward Gordon, Edward 
Brown, and amongst those wounded Arthur Totten, Ar- 
thur Slicklen, Peter Gammel, the Peisel brothers, and Denis 
Cahill, sturdiest of old-timers. This Company claims that 
it has the most heroic and devoted lot of litter bearers that 
ever deliberately took their lives in their hands. By the 
stories I hear it is hard to choose between them. They are 
Thomas P. McPherson, Edmond McCarthy, James and Jo- 
seph Burns (twins in birth and twins in courage) and Ed- 
ward F. Brown. They were always at the front, day and 
night, and they should all have the Distinguished Service 
Cross. Liaison men mentioned are Clarence Smith and 
Vivian Commons. Others that received praise were Fred- 
erick Craven, Corporal Childress, who came over on the 
torpedoed Tiiscania and joined us at Baccarat; Corporal 
Pat Moran, Thomas Leddy, James Heaney ; and Mess Ser- 
geant Grace with cooks Duffy and Wilson, who won the 
eternal gratitude of the Company by carrying food to them 
in line. 

William Hisle was one of the first names I got from 
Company D, a man who did extraordinarily fine work as 
a litter bearer. John J. Kolodgy also, and Edward Coxe 
(wounded at the same task and sticking on the job until 
killed) are in the same class. Liaison men: Louis Mur- 
phy, William P. White, John Conway, John Dale, Frank 
DeMuth; while others mentioned are Mess Sergeant Ed- 
ward Mclntee, Pat Crowley, "the wild Irishman," Pat Gro- 


gan (wounded again), John L. Burke, Peter Carberry, 
Charles Edgerton, Richard Dwyer (who said "Tend to me 
last" when wounded), Thomas Keyes, Sergeant Denis 
Murphy, badly wounded; Denis O'Connor, Charles Lynch, 
Everett Smith, John Cahill, Andrew O'Rourke, Peter 
O'Sullivan, Martin Hurst, Arthur Comer, John L. Thomp- 
son, John Cox, Joseph P. Tracy and Patrick Finn (both 
'98 men) and Fred Urban, a new man and a great shot with 
the rifle, with Chief Powless and Tony Zaliski. 

Company E told me of Michael Breen, who received his 
death wound, covering the advance of his Company by the 
use of smoke grenades; William Foley and James Fitz- 
patrick, going out under fire to rescue two companions; 
George M. Failing, who did noble work as a litter bearer; 
John Costello, Thomas Cullen (both killed), with Bechtold 
and William Goldenburg, four privates who saved their 
Company by putting a machine gun out of action. Ser- 
geant Augustus T. Morgan, also Sergeant Frank Johnston 
and Corporal John Cronin did heroic work. 

Company F, Bernard Corcoran got a bullet across both 
his eyeballs which will render him blind for life. John Fitz- 
gibbon, Michael Douglas, Frank Dunn, Charles Dougherty, 
William Garry, Leo Hanifin, Owen Carney, George D. 
Lannon, Frank Kelly, Gottfried Kern, Edward Chabot, 
James McCormack, John McAuliffe, Daniel McGrath, 
Peter McGuiness, William McQuade, John P. Mahon, 
Herbert Doyle, Peter Malloy, shot through the lung, Wil- 
liam Mulligan, Charles O'Leary and William Moran, Ser- 
geant Pat Wynne, John Smith, Peter Rogers, Frank 
Sweeney and William Walsh are on the honor roll. 

Company G had the greatest praise for Edmund Reardon 
and Charles McGeary, who did remarkable work saving 
others until finally death came to themselves. Others men- 
tioned with praise are Corporal Edward Fitzgerald and Ser- 
geant Edward McNamara, who had to be ordered out of 
the line when wounded. Also Corporal David Fitzgibbons, 
Thomas Meade, Michael Shea, Michael O'Brien, Patrick 


Donohue, Frank Cahill, Thomas Bohan, First Sergeant 
John Meaney, Corporal Frank Garland, Thomas McGowan, 
James Brennan, Sergeant James Coffey; Robert Monohan 
and Patrick McNamara, liaison men; and Maurice Dwyer, 
mechanic, who always dropped his tools and picked up a 
rifle when a battle was on. 

Company H thinks that it is about time that Sergeant 
Dudley Winthrop got a citation. His latest feat was to go 
wandering out in the open where everybody that went had 
been hit, searching out his wounded comrades. Martin 
Higgins has also been recommended for citation for the 
same kind of heroic activity. Patrick Reynolds went out 
alone and, by expert sniping at close range, put out of ac- 
tion a machine gun that was holding up the advance. Later 
on, he was killed. Sergeant John J. Walker kept his pla- 
toon going when his seniors were wounded. Callahan, 
Dunseith, Ernst, Conway, Bealin, McDonald, O'Brien, Mc- 
Kenna, Sweeney, White, Frieburger, Crose and Bushey are 
also recommended for excellent work. 

I have already gone through the list of Company I, so I 
shall just add an additional list of non-coms who were 
wounded : Sergeants Harold J. Murphy and William Lyle, 
Corporals Wilton Wharton, Charles Beckwith, L. Vessell, 
James Brady, William Burke, William Crossin, Patrick 
Farrell, Alfred Georgi, Hugh Kelly, Michael Learnahan, 
John Maddock, H. R. Morton, Patrick O'Brien, Francis 
O'Neill, Edward Powers, William Reutlinger, and James 

The men from Company I whose names were selected at 
the time for a Regimental Citation were First Sergeant Pat- 
rick McMeniman, who was really in command of the Com- 
pany during most of the trying time on the hill; Dexter, 
Dynan, Howard, Coen, Farley, Coppinger, Battersby, and 
Lesser as stretcher bearers ; Cook Michael J. O'Brien, who 
carried food to the front line no matter how dangerous it 
was, and carried wounded on the return trip ; and Thomas 
A. Boyle, who seeing an abandoned automatic rifle ran 


forward under vicious fire, loaded it and started it working 
against the enemy; and finally, William B. Lyons, promi- 
nent as liaison man and stretcher bearer. 

Company K recommends Nicholas E. Grant, a liaison 
man, along with its heroic Captain, Sergeant Joe Farrell, 
Victor Van Yorx, John Doyle, stretcher bearer, and the 
self-sacrificing William Bergen, Francis. I. Kelly, also a 
martyr to loyalty, as he was killed while rendering first aid 
to Lieutenant Stott. Burr Finkle and John J. McLaughlin 
are recommended for a display of extraordinary heroism. 

In Company L the valiant Captain and Lieutenant Spen- 
cer have been recommended for the D. S. C. For rescue 
work, Thomas Deignan, Joseph Coogan, John Ahern, Jo- 
seph Grace, Charles Oakes, William Hughes, Michael Fal- 
lon (twice wounded) and James Santori, the latter being 
killed while placing a wounded man on a stretcher. Lieu- 
tenant Wellboume, with the Sergeants already mentioned, 
and also Corporals Edward McDonough, Harry McDer- 
mott, Eugene McCue, and Wild Bill Ryan distinguished 
themselves by their work in the line. So, too, did James 
Judge, Thomas Boyle, Eddie Bloom, Arthur Campbell, 
John Burke, Will Coleman, John Murphy, Matt Devlin, 
Hugh Fagan, Fred Meyers, Leslie Quackenbush, John Mul- 
vey, Peter O'Connor, Maurice Powers, Val Roesel, John 
B. McHugh, Sam Ross, Peter Deary, James Streffier, Harry 
Baldwin, expert sniper, and Eddie Morrissey, liaison man. 

Captain Meaney of Company M gave the highest recom- 
mendation to Lieutenant Collier and also to Corporals 
Thomas J. Courtney and Patrick Ames, both of them sol- 
diers of remarkable coolness and resolution. The men of 
this Company were kept busy throughout the week as food 
and ammunition carriers and stretcher bearers. Amongst 
those who distinguished themselves in these tasks were Cor- 
porals James Duffy and Jack Manson, with Edward Mendes, 
Daniel Leahy, William Lynch, John Feeley, Thomas Fer- 
rier, William O'Neill, Frank Sisco, James Shanahan, Ed- 
ward Flanagan, Patrick Bryne, Frank Cullum, James Igo, 


James A. Watts, the Rodriguez brothers and Herbert Dun- 

Captain Walsh of Headquarters Company recommended 
Sergeant Arthur Jaeger, Sergeant John J. Ryan, Corporal 
Charles Leister of the one-pounders, with Corporal Leslie 
Reynolds and Privates Robert Callaghan, Clarence Cump- 
ston, Maurice Small, Charles Goecking, Spencer Sully, John 
C. McLaughlin and William Hearn (who also did heroic 
work rescuing the wounded). Corporal A. A. Brochon and 
Privates James P. McCabe and Arthur Olsen and Kirwin 
of the Signal Platoon. In the Stokes Mortars Sergeant 
Thomas Fitzsimmons, Jeremiah J. Casey, Thomas J. Kelly 
and Malcolm Robertson, Thomas J. Taylor, Herbert Clarke 
with Moore, Wisner, Hayes, Nugent, Robb, Levins, Orr, 
Shannon, Dugdale, and my old friend, John Mahon, who 
always has some special reason why he should be selected 
as a member of every gun crew sent to the front line; 
George Utermehle, Stable Sergeant; Jerome Goldstein, 
Mess Sergeant; with Cooks John A. Wilker, Maher Mc- 
Avoy and Wagoner James Collintine; and Jim Turner, 
wounded while doing courageous work as a liaison man. 
, The Machine Gun Company cites their runners, John L. 
B. Sullivan, William Murphy, Hantschke, Charles Smith, 
^nd James Ledwith. Also Lieutenant Billings, who had the 
dangerous task of keeping up the supply of ammunition, 
which he accomplished with the aid of two excellent non- 
coms, Sid Ryan and Joe McCourt (one of the most efficient 
men in the whole regiment). Every man in the company 
sang the praises of Bill Sheppard, Paul Fay and Pete Gil- 
lespie; also of Leon Baily and Frank Gardella, who spent 
their leisure moments carrying in Company C's wounded. 

The Supply Company wagoners Peter J. Seagriff, Albert 
Richford, A. Brown, Philip Smith and Thomas J. Ferris, 
won praise for difficult and dangerous tasks courageously 
performed by night and day. 

The Sanitary Detachment, in addition to those men- 
tioned, gave me Milledge Whitlock, Louis Bidwell, John 


McKeough, John P. Murphy, Patrick Fawcett, Thomas V. 
Boland, Walter Clark and Sergeant Arthur Furman. Whit- 
lock, Wright and Walker were at an advance aid-post un- 
der the river bank all v^eek long. 

The most striking incident I heard described took place in 
Company D as they were waiting in the street of Villers sur 
Fere about three o'clock in the morning of the 28th. The 
Germans were raking the streets with high explosives and 
shrapnel, and men were falling, hit by the flying pieces. 
The most trying moment in battle is going into action un- 
der shell fire, especially at night. The shells come 
wh-e-e-e— zing over. One goes Whannng ! up the road — an- 
other in a field to the right! Then one falls on a house 
and the tiles, plaster, fragments of stone are scattered over 
the men who are lying in the lee of it. Then another comes, 
more menacing in its approaching whistle. Men run, drop 
on the ground, stand petrified. And it lands in the midst 
of them. There are cries, ceasing suddenly as if cut off 
with a knife, curses, sobs of *'0h, God!" *They got me!" 
'Tor God's sake, pick me up, Jim." The survivors rush 
back, ripping open their First Aid packages, the non-coms 
bawling orders, everybody working in a frenzy to save the 
wounded. And then perhaps another shell landing in the 
same place will send them all away from the troubles of 
this awful world. 

Company D was going through all this, and for the time 
being, without officers. Buck was gassed the day before; 
Connelly and Daly had gone off to execute their difficult 
operation to the right. First Sergeant Geaney being 
with them ; Burke was away on his mission of danger and 
glory. The remaining Lieutenant had been called to receive 
orders. Two corporals, Patrick MacDonough and John 
Gribbon, had been working hard, giving first aid to the 
wounded, and they began to worry about the possible ef- 
fect of the shelling on the men. So they went up the line 
to look for some person in higher authority. 

They found no officer but they did find Sergeant Tottk 


O'Malley sitting against a stone wall, sucking philosophi- 
cally at his pipe, as if the wall were the side of a stone fence 
in his native Connemara. Now the sight of Tom O'Malley 
breeds confidence in the heart of every soldier in Company 

"Whereas the officers, Tom?'* 

''Oi don't know where th' hell they are,'* says Tom, be- 
tween puffs of his pipe, and in the slow, soft speech of the 
West Coast Irish, *Tf ye were in camp and ye didn't want 
to see thim, ye'd be thrippin' over thim. But now whin ye 
want t' know what ye got to do in a foight ye can't find 
wan of thim." 

"Well, Tom, we'll elect you Captain and you take charge 
of the men until some of the officers get back, or they may 
be getting out of hand." 

"No, lads, Oi don't fancy meself in a Sam Brown belt. 
Dick O'Neill here is a noice young fellah, so we'll elect 
Dick Captain, and O'll make ye fellahs do what he tells ye." 
So Sergeant O'Neill, a youth of twenty-one, took charge of 
the situation, got the men together in small groups under 
their non-coms, and in places of comparative safety, and 
had them all ready when Lieutenant Cook came back from 
the conference to issue their orders to cross the Ourcq. 

It is something that we call typically American that a 
number of men under a stress and in an emergency like this, 
should get together, choose their own leaders and obey 
them implicitly for the common good. These four men are 
Americans of the type we are proudest of. Yet it is worth 
noting that three out of the four were born in an island 
whose inhabitants, we are often told, are unfit for self- 
government. As for Dick O'Neill, he is one hundred per 
cent American, but it would take a braver man than I can 
claim to be to tell Dick O'Neill that he is not Irish, too. 

One of the members of D Company who was wounded 
in this spot was Matt Sullivan, an old-timer, and a kindly 
pleasant man who always took an interest in the younger 
lads, so that he was known as "Pop." His two special pro- 


teges were Barney Friedman and George Johnson. When 
he was hit he was ordered to the rear, but he said, 'I'll not 
stir out o' this till I see if the children are safe, God bless 
them." He hobbled around in the gray dawn until he found 
the boys and then started for the rear. 

Company I had a number of little battle pictures to give 
me besides those I have already written. One was of Barney 
Farley, who was busy all morning dressing wounds, and 
after he had stopped the flow of blood, before picking up 
his man, he would roll a cigarette, stick it in the wounded i 
man's mouth with a cheery ''Here, take a pull out of this, i 
avic. It'll do ye good." 

Mike Lenihan, wounded while on the hill and told to go 
back, said, ''No, I've waited so long to get at them I won't ' 
lave this hill." Another shot got him, and he was carried 

Tom Shannon, being carried in, got off his stretcher and 
wanted to give his place to another man who, he said, was 
worse wounded than himself. An officer ordered him 
back on the stretcher and he was carried in, and since then I 
1 have heard he has died of his wounds. 

William Cleary, wounded in the shoulder, refused tO' 
leave without orders, so they led him to where Captain! 
Ryan was lying in a shell hole, himself wounded. The!; 
Captain looked up at him. "You've got a bad wound. No j^ 
use around here. You're young — got good color in your \i 
face — live long. Got good legs yet — run like hell." 

The Captain saw a German near the top of the hill who 
was using an automatic, and he wanted to try a shot at him, I 
so he borrowed Pat Flynn's rifle, fired and missed, the pain 
of the recoil disconcerting his aim. He tried again ; then he 
said : "I'm going to pull the last bit of Irish in me together 
and get that fellow." With the last shot in the clip he got 

Two men from Company L had a laugh about Fortgang, 
who, one of them said, is the champion moocher of the 
Company, and can always get something to eat no matter 


how short the rations are. They were lying out on that 
shot-swept hill on the morning of the 28th when Fortgang 
produced from somewhere a can of solidified alcohol and 
three strips of bacon. He calmly proceeded to start his lit- 
tle fire, and fried his bacon, which he shared with the men 
on each side of him; and thus fortified, picked up his rifle 
once more and began to blaze away at the Germans. 

While the topic is food I may add that the whole com- 
pany is devoted to Mess Sergeant McDonald and Cook Con- 
nelly, whose kitchen was hit but who swore they would 
"stick to it while there's a spoke left in it." Hugh Fagan 
was one of the men who had to be driven off the hill after 
being badly wounded. 

I saw several men who were hit through the helmet, the 
bullet entering in front and going out at the back without 
inflicting a wound. One of them was Edward McDonough, 
who seemed to consider it a great joke, though another man 
who had the same thing happen to him, a man whom I did 
not know, was walking in wide circles, unable to pursue a. 
steady course unless he had a wall or a fence to guide on. 

Captain Hurley of Company K got four or five wounds 
at once in leg, arm and back, but refused to allow himself 
to be carried, saying impatiently, "Now, don't be bothering 
with me. I'd like to see myself on a litter while there's 
men much worse off than myself still lying on the ground." 

I was in the dressing station one evening when a sturdy 
young lieutenant walked in with one hand almost blown 
away. He announced himself to be Lieutenant Wolf of the 
150th Machine Gun Battalion, and settled down on the table 
for his operation with more coolness than most people dis- 
play when getting their photograph taken. He had just one 
thing on his mind, and that did not concern himself. He had 
ome in with an ammunition detail, which was ready to start 
oack when a shell got him just outside the hospital door. 
That detail had to go back. He was much relieved, one 
would say perfectly contented, when I assured him that I 
would convey his orders to the sergeant in charge. 


Through such men battles are won, and nations made fa- 
mous for bravery. 

On one of the days of the battle I was coming up the 
street of Villers sur Fere with Jack Percy when an enemy 
gun began to land shells just across the narrow street from 
us. We dropped alongside a wall when the shriek of the 
first one told us it was coming across the home plate, and 
as we lay there I saw a ration wagon coming down the road 
with George Utermehle, Sergeant of mounted section, H. Q. 
Company, on the box. George had no whip and was urging 
his team by throwing cherries at their heads. I shouted at 
him, 'This is a bad comer just now, they're shelling it." 
"Oh, this old team of mine can beat out any shell," said 
George, as he hit the ear of his off animal with a cherry; 
and he went tearing by in time to miss the next, and, Iwas 
happy to find out, the last one that came over. 

I overheard a conversation in the woods which gave me 
a good story on Major Donovan. The majority of his bat- 
talion have always looked on him as the greatest man in the 
world. But a certain number were resentful and complain- 
ing on account of the hard physical drilling he has con- 
tinually given them to keep them in condition for just the 
sort of thing they had to go through last week. As a result 
of watching him through six days of battle — his coolness, 
cheerfulness, resourcefulness — there is now no limit to their 
admiration for him. What I overheard was the partial con- 
version of the last dissenter. He still had a grouch about 
what he had been put through during the past year, and 
three other fellows were pounding him with arguments to 
prove Donovan's greatness. Finally he said grudgingly, 

"Well, I'll say this : Wild Bill is a son of a , but he's a 

game one." When I told it to Donovan, he laughed and 
said, "Well, Father, when I'm gone write that as my epi- 

I shall always think that the finest compliment paid to 
Major Donovan was the devotion of John Patrick Kayes, 
an Irishman, very tall, very thin, somewhat stoop-shoul- 


dered, not at all young, and a servant of the rich in civil 
life. The Irish in him had made him a volunteer. He was 
put in charge of the Battalion H. Q. mess, and I used to tell 
Donovan that I came to visit him, not on account of his own 
attractions, but because of what John Kayes had to offer 
me. He refused to remain behind in action. He wanted 
to be where the Major was, though he knew that anybody 
who kept near Donovan stood an excellent chance of be- 
ing killed. On July 31st he went forward with him on his 
restless rounds, which led them out of the shelter of Bois 
Colas into the open country. A German machine gun be- 
gan firing at them and Kayes was struck in the ankle. He 
fell forward into the path of the bullets and as different 
portions of his long body neared the ground he was hit 
successively in the thigh, arm and face. He still had 
strength enough to protest that the Major should not risk 
himself by carrying him in. He died in hospital weeks 
later, his last thoughts being that Major Donovan would be 
neglected with him gone. The terms "hero'* and "butler" 
are not generally associated in fiction, but they met in the 
person of John Patrick Kayes. 

Major Lawrence tells me that he met Captain P. P. Raf- 
ferty, a doctor in our Divisional Sanitary Train, who told 

"We had an original character from your outfit through 
here last week — a Lieutenant Connelly. He was lying on 
a cot and in a good deal of pain, I knew, when I was sur- 
prised to hear him laugh a hearty laugh. I thought he was 
going out of his head and I went over to him and said, 
'What's happened to you that's funny, Lieutenant ?" 

" *0h,' he said, T was just thinking about something.* 

" 'Let me in on it,' I said. There is not much to amuse 
a man happening around here.' 

" 'Well,' said he, 'it's just an incident of battle. I was 
in command of a Company that had just about forty men 
left, and Major Donovan gave me orders to send some of 
them one way and some another and take the rest and cap- 


ture a woods and Meurcy Farm. Just after I started I got 
into a mix-up and was put out of action and my first 
thought was 'Thank God ! Now I don't have to take that 
damn farm.' " 

One of my own prayers of Thanksgiving is "Praise be ! 
Major Lawrence is back." When I told him so he thanked 
me for the compHment, but I said, *'George, don't take it as 
coming from me. It is only for my own peace of mind. 
Since the day you left I have been pestered by everybody, 
officers and men, who have the right to wear your red cross 
armlet, with the plaintive petition, 'Father Duffy, can't you 
do something to get out Major back?' " 

We joke Rerat about the size of the French rivers. I 
told him that one of our soldiers lay badly wounded near 
the river, and I offered him a pull at my canteen. Raising 
himself on one elbow and throwing out his arm in a Sir 
Philip Sydney fashion, he exclaimed, "Give it to the Ourcq, 
it needs it more than I do." 

The Germans nearly had a grim joke on me during the 
action. We picked up our dead in the town, and I had the 
Pioneers dig me a long trench on the south side of the 
cemetery wall, which screened them from observation while 
their own trench would give protection. I said "This spot 
is the safest place in France." We finished our sad task 
and went away. A few hours later I passed that way 
again and found that the wall against which I was sitting 
was smashed to the ground ; a tree eight inches in diameter 
which had shaded me was blown in two, and two other mis- 
siles had exploded five feet from the line of graves. Evi- 
dently a German aviator, seeing the freshly turned earth, 
thought that it was a gun emplacement and dropped three 
of his nasty eggs. I smiled grimly as my words came back, 
"The safest place in France." 

Going through the woods I heard John McMorrow dis- 
cussing a date with Monzert of Headquarters Company, 
and he was saying, "It happened the first day we went over. 


I tell you it was. It was on the mornin' that we crossed the 
O'Rourke River and captured Murphy's Farm." 

Colonel McCoy felt deeply grieved at the news of Quen- 
tin Roosevelt's heroic death in an air battle some time be- 
fore, as he knew him from boyhood, having been military 
I aide at the White House during part of President Roose- 
' velt's term of office. We knew that Lieutenant Roosevelt 
had met his death in this sector, and our Colonel had insti- 
tuted inquiries to find if any person had discovered his 
grave. Word was brought to him that the grave had been 
. found in the sector to our right, which was occupied by the 
j 32nd Division, and Colonel McCoy determined to have it 
I suitably marked. I had a cross made and inscribed by 
Julius Horvath, and the Colonel with Lieutenant Preston 
and myself went by automobile to the place to erect it over 
the grave. We found the roughly made cross fonned from 
pieces of his broken plane that the Germans had set to 
mark the place where they buried him. The plot had al- 
ready been ornamented with a rustic fence by the soldiers 
of the 32nd Division. We erected our own little monu- 
ment without molesting the one that had been left by the 
Germans. It is fitting that enemy and friend alike should 
pay tribute to heroism. 

The Germans had not retreated ten miles before the ad- 
vance guard of the French civilian population began coming 
in to take possession of their shattered homes. I was com- 
ing down today from the battlefield whither I had gone 
with Emmet Watson and Bill Fernie to make a map of 
the graves when I met the incoming civilians in Villers sur 
Fere. Most of them were men who had been sent ahead 
by the family to see what was left. But occasionally we 
^ met a stout old peasant woman pulling a small cart behind 
her on which rested all her earthly substance, or a hay-cart 
drawn by oxen with the family possessions in it and two 
or three chubby youngsters with their mother perched on 
top. I followed a middle aged farmer and his son into one 
of the houses near the church and we made our inspection 


together. All the plaster had been knocked off the walls 
and the glass from the windows, and there was a big hole 
in the roof, and altogether it looked anything but a home, 
but after looking it all over the young man said to his 
father, with a satisfied grunt, *Tas trop demoli" (not too 
badly banged up). I certainly admired the optimism and 
courage of people who could take up their lives once more 
with cheerfulness under such desperate conditions. 

The Germans had made their most of the time in which 
they had possession of this salient They had harvested 
a great deal of the grain and anything else that was already 
ripe and in some places they had ransacked the houses of 
any goods that were worth while. There were many evi- 
dences, though, that they had no idea that they were so 
soon to be dislodged. At Seringes they had installed an 
electric light plant, and the French road signs had been sup- 
plemented with the large legible German signs. Their sense | 
of security was the cause of their largest losses in material, 
as they had made of the Forest of Fere a great ammunition 
dump, and the large shells, gas, shrapnel, high explosives, 
were left behind by thousands. 

I got back to Chateau Thierry looking for hospitals which 
might contain our wounded but found none of them, as 
they had all been transferred to other places, no one knew 
exactly where. In the burying ground I hit upon the graves 
of Sergeant John O'Neill of B and Sergeants Peter Grotty 
and Bernard McElroy of K and Walter Wandless of H. 
The city already presented a lively appearance with a great 
deal of traffic, not all of it military, over the bridge of boats 
which replaced the bridge that had been destroyed during 
the German drive. 

Our men are getting more and more restless in these dirty 
woods and the first question that anybody asks is, "When 
do we get relieved." I stepped into the woods on the other 
side of the road to visit my Alabama friends and one of 
their fine lads voiced the common mind by asking whether 
the govament hadn't othah soldiehs than the Fohty-Second 


Division. I answered, "Well, if they're using you so much, 
it is your own fault." "How is it ouah fault?" demanded 
my friend, and twenty pairs of eyes asked the same ques- 
tion. ''It's your fault all right ; the trouble with you fellows 
is that you're too blamed good.'* 

I have become a specialist on what they call the morale of 
troops and as I go around I find that the morale of the 
men in this division is still very high. They have had a 
tough week of it and nearly half the infantry are gone while 
of those remaining more than half are sick. But they know 
that they have whipped the enemy on his chosen ground and 
they feel confident that if they only get rested up a little bit 
they can do it again and do it cheerfully. 

The Quartermaster's Department has helped considera- 
bly by fitting us all out with new clothes, underwear, shoes, 
everything we need, and the food supply is steady. And 
Miss Elsie Janis has done her part, too, as a joy producer 
by coming up to us in our mud and desolation and giving 
a Broadway performance for an audience which was more 
wildly appreciative than ever acclaimed her on the street of 
a million lights. 

The long desired orders for relief finally arrived. We 
marched out on Sunday morning, August nth. I had 
planned with Colonel McCoy to have my Sunday Service a 
memorial one for the brave lads we were leaving behind. 
He had me set up my altar in an open field just south of 
the forest on our line of march to the rear. The men, fully 
equipped for the march, came down the road, turned into 
the field, stripped their packs and formed a hollow square 
around the altar. After Mass I preached on the text, 
"Greater love than this no man hath than that he lay down 
his life for his friends." When the service was over the 
regiment took the road again' and began its march, with 
the band in advance and the regimental wagon train in the 

As we passed through Beauvardes General Menoher and 
officers of his staff were in front of Division Headquarters. 

re ' • 


Colonel McCoy passed the order down the ranks, the band 
struck up the regimental air of "Garry Owen" and the 
regiment passed in review, heads up and chests out and 
stepping out with a martial gait as if they were parading 
at Camp Mills and not returning from a battlefield where 
half their numbers had been lost. 

Two days later they marched through Chateau Thier; 
in similar fashion. Colonel McCoy came to mess with 
smile r f pride on his face telling us he had encountered an 
old friend, a regular army officer who had said to him, 
"What is that outfit that passed here a little while ago? 
It's the finest looking lot of infantry I have seen in France." 
"That is the 165th Infantry, more widely known to fame 
as the 69th New York, and I am proud to say that I com- 
mand it." 

I have been playing truant for a few days. I had been 
suffering with a great sense of fatigue. Nothing particular 
the matter, but I felt as if I were running on four flat 
tires and one cylinder. Two of the War Correspondents, 
Herbert Corey and Lincoln Eyre, came along and insisted 
on bringing me down to their place in Chateau Thierry; 
and General Lenihan brought me in in his car. Corey 
cooked supper — a regular cordon bleu affair — and Lincoln 
Eyre gave me a hot bath and, like Kipling's soldier, "God, 
I needed it so." Then they bundled me into Tom John- 
son's bed, and as I dropped asleep I thought, and will con* 
tinue to think, that they are the finest fellows in the world. 
They were ordered out next morning and I went with them 
for a couple of days to Bossuet's old episcopal city of 
Meaux, where I had a fine time gossiping with Major Mor- 
gan, Bozeman Bulger and Arthur Delaney of the Censor's 
Bureau and Ray Callahan, Arthur Ruhl and Herbert Bailey, 
a delightful young Englishman who writes for the Daily 

I rejoined the regiment at Saulchery — somebody says 
that sounds like a name for a decadent cocktail — and found 
myself housed in a large and pleasant villa, the garden of 


which looked out upon vineyards and fields down to the 
banks of the Marne. It was one of the pleasantest places 

[' we had been in in France. The weather was perfect, and 
the men enjoyed the camping out in their shelter tents, es- 
pecially since the river was handy for a swim. The whole 

[ thing made us feel more like campers than soldiers. And 
by the time we had gotten well rested up and most of the 
cooties washed off, we had forgotten the hard days that 
were past and saw only the bright side of life once more. 
We were there from August I2th to 17th, on which lat- 
ter date we entrained at Chateau Thierry to go to our new 
training area. This was down in the Neuf chateau dis- 
trict, and to get to it by the railroad we were using we went 
south until we got to the vicinity of Langres, where we had 
spent our last two months before going into the trench 
sector. Regimental headquarters was at Goncourt and the 
regiment was accommodated in barracks and billets in that 
and two close lying villages. The towns had been used for 
some time by American troops and had unusual facilities 
for bathing, etc. The warm reception given to us by the 
townspeople was a tribute to the good conduct of the 23rd 
Infantry which had been billetted there for a considerable 
period before occupying the front lines. 

After a couple of days' rest the men were started on a 
schedule of training which was laid out for four weeks. 
Target ranges were prepared by the engineers and every- 
thing looked like a long stay. The training was neces- 
sary not so much for the old-timers as for the replacements 
who had been sent in to take the places of the men we had 
lost. We received five hundred from the 8ist Division. 
We had known cases where our replacements had to go 
into line without anything like proper training. The night 
we left Epieds to advance into action at the Ourcq we re- 
ceived new men, some of whom knew very little about a 
rifle and had never once put on a gas mask; and the Cap- 

I tains, took them out by night and drilled them for an hour 
with the gas masks in order to give the poor fellows some 


sort of a chance for their lives if exposed to danger of gas. 

The second day that I was in Goncourt Colonel McCoy 
came to see me with Major Lawrence and Major Donovan 
to lay down the law. They had decided that I was to go to 
the hospital at Vittel, where Major Donovan's brother was 
one of the doctors, "for alterations and repairs." General 
Menoher, with his usual kindness, sent over his car to take 
me there, and Father George Carpentier was brought over 
from the Sanitary Train to fill my place. I told him ''Your 
name is French but it has the advantage of being the one 
French name that is best known and most admired by our 
bunch of pugilists." 

I have had a nice lazy week of it at Vittel, which was a 
French watering place before the war, the hotels and parks 
now being given over to American soldiers. I hear a great 
deal of talk about a coming offensive in which the American 
Army is to take the leading part. I had gotten an inkling 
of it before from a French source, with strictest injunc- 
tions to secrecy. But here in Vittel I find it discussed by 
private soldiers on the park benches and by the old lady who 
sells newspapers. If it is a secret, all the world seems to 
know it. We have taken every step to make the Germans 
aware of it except that of putting paid advertisements in 
the Berlin newspapers. The fact is, these things cannot 
be kept secret. Here in Vittel they are cleaning out all the 
hospitals of wounded and that means that a big battle is 
expected somewhere in this vicinity within a short time. 
Then up along the line ammunition and supply trains are 
busy establishing dumps, and the drivers are naturally talk- 
ing about it in the cafes, so that everybody knows that the 
Americans are planning something big and the place where 
it is going to happen. 


August 24th, 1 9 18 

Major Donovan is over every few days to have his 

wound attended to and incidentally to see his brother Tim, 


-who is a surgeon with the Buffalo Unit. Today he gave 
me a piece of news that came as a shock though hardly a^ 
a surprise — the orders are out to make Colonel McCoy a 
Brigadier General and he is to leave us. He has been with 
us less than four months yet I feel as if I had known him 
for forty years, and this war is going to be a different sort 
of thing for me lacking his presence. But the staying thing 
about life is that institutions go on even though men may 
pass. My thoughts turned to the regiment. 

**Who is likely to be Colonel?" I asked. 

*'We are all united on Mitchell," said the Major, "and 
I think General McCoy will be able to arrange it for us." 

"I have always thought that General McCoy can do any- 
thing he sets out to do. As for Mitchell, with the possible 
exception of yourself, Major, there is no man I had rather* 
see have it." 

"Oh, Hell, Father, I don't want to be Colonel. At 
Lieutenant Colonel I can get into the fight and that's what 
I'm here for. We all want Mitchell." 

"You are a selfish creature. Bill. Did you ever see any- 
body more contented in action than the man you want to 
tie up to a telephone?" 

"Well, somebody has to be tied up to the telephone, Mc- 
Coy didn't like it, nor MacArthur. And then, as you know, 
they can always find some reason to get away from it and 
have a little excitement." 


August 29th, 1918 
The orders have come already to move up to the next 
battle area. Instead of having a month for rest and train- 
ing the Division has had but ten days in its new area. 
Orders came in on the 28th and the regiments moved out on 
the 29th, our headquarters being at Gendreville. On the 
next day they moved to Viocourt, the 2nd and 3rd bat- 
talions being at Courcelles. Major Lawrence came to sec 


me at the hospital to tell me about the new move and I 
obtained permission to leave and rejoin my regiment. I 
shall always have a warm place in my heart for the doctors 
and nurses of the Buffalo and Westchester County Units. 


September ist, 1918 
I walked into Division Headquarters at Chatenois today 
on my business as Senior Chaplain. I sent off a couple of 
telegrams to the G. H. Q. Chaplains about a Protestant 
chaplain that I want them to send for the Alabamas and 
also stirring them up about a Protestant chaplain that I 
had been asking them for a long time for my own regiment. 
Another telegram went to the K. of C. at Paris to send a 
priest to look after Catholics in the Illinois and Indiana 
artillery regiments, as the chaplains there are anxious to 
have one. My final inquiry was about transportation to 
Toul for Jewish members of the Division in order to have 
them celebrate their approaching feast. Sergeant Marcus 
looked up at me and grinned : "Say, Father Duft'y, aren't 
you glad you have no Buddhists to look after?" He added 
that the adjutant had a surprise in store for me. 

He had — two official announcements, one, that the corps 
commander had made me a major and the other that I had 
been cited for the D. S. C. Being a Major has no particular 
thrills to it, except no doubt when I come to sign my pay 
vouchers; but there is no man living who can truthfully 
say that it means nothing to him to receive the bronze cross 
and red, white and blue bar of our Army. To everybody, 
I think, the greatest satisfaction comes not from what it 
means to himself but from the gratification it will give his 
friends. Another feeling uppermost in my mind was one of 
grateful affection for Colonel McCoy because I knew that 
it was he who had recommended me both for the rank and 
the distinction. I wrote to him "The British reward their 
military heroes with a peerage, a pension, and a tom.b in 


W^estminster Abbey. You have gotten for me the Ameri- 
can equivalent for two of them — the distinction and the 
emoluments — and it only remains for you to fix it up so 
that I can have a tomb in St. Patrick's Cathedral. All that 
is necessary to give me a right to that is to make me 
i Archbishop of New York; Cardinal, if you insist. I never 
knew you to fail in anything you went after so I shall con- 
sider this matter as settled." 

We remained in Viocourt six days and then began our 
journey north by night marches. The 4th of September 
was spent in the Bois de Raidon. On the 5th of Septem- 
ber the whole regiment was together at BuUigny. On the 
6th, still marching by night, we were at Foug, and Septem- 
ber 7th found us at Boucq, where we spent two days. 

Here we had the honor of a visit from the Commander 
in Chief. General Pershing had come on for the ceremrny 
of presenting Distinguished Service Crosses to those who 
had been cited in our Division, and the ceremony took place 
in a field to the northeast of our village of Boucq. The 
recipients from our Regiment were Lieutenant Colonel 
Donovan, Major Reilley, who quite overshadowed me, 
Captain Merle-Smith, Lieutenant William Spencer, Lieu- 
tenant John J. Williams, Sergeant Frank Gardella, Corp- 
oral John McLaughlin, Corporal Martin Higgins, and 
Burr Finkle. Captain Ryan and others who had been cited 
were still in the hospital, while others were of those who 
had perished on the field. A complete list will be given 
in another place. 


The field orders for the attack on the St. Mihiel salient ■ 
were received on September loth, the date not being speci- ■ 
fied. Our division was to attack as part of the 4th U. S. ■ 
Army Corps of the ist U. S. Army; and we were given i 
the honor of being made the point of the arrow which | 
was to pierce through the center of the salient along the i 
base of the triangle that was to be cut off. The 89th i 
Division was on our right and the ist Division on cur left, ^ 
with the 3rd in Army reserve. | 

Our Division was to be formed with both brigades I 
abreast, the 83rd being on the left of the 84th. The relative 13 
places of regiments with regard to each other was to be h 
in the same order in which they fought at the Ourcq — | 
from left to right : Ohios, New Yorks, Alabamas and lowas. yj 
Each regiment was to have one battalion in the first line | 
and one in the second, the remaining battalions acting as % 
brigade or division reserves. Battery F, 149th F. A. was ^ 
to follow up with the infantry of our brigade after their Ij 
capture of the first position. The brigade had also the co- ij 
operation of a battalion of our Engineers for road and jI 
bridge work, one platoon of the first gas regiment and two -j 
groups of French Schneider Tanks. 1 

On the night of September loth we moved forward to 
the vicinity of Mandres, where we relieved elements of the j 
89th Division which were transferred further to the right. 
Our headquarters on September nth were at Hamonville, : 
not far from Seicheprey where the 26th Division had played 
a savage game of give and take with the Germans when | 
they held the trenches last Spring. i 

232 ; 


Copies were issued of the very elaborate plans which had 
been prepared by Army Chiefs of Staff outlining with 
great definiteness the part that each element of our Army 
had to play in the work that lay ahead of them. 

The men were encamped in a forest of low trees, a most 
I miserable spot. It had been showering and wet all the week 
I and we were living like paleozoic monsters, in a world of 
muck and slime. The forest roads were all plowed by the 
wagon wheels and when one stepped off thein conditions 
were no better, for the whole place was really a swamp. I 
made my rounds during the afternoon and got the men tcn 
gether for what I call a silent prayer meeting. I told them 
how easy it was to set themselves right with God, suggesting 
an extra prayer for a serene mind and a stout heart in time 
of danger ; and then they stood around me in a rough semi- 
circle, caps in hand and heads bowed, each man saying his 
prayers in his own way. I find this simple ceremony much 
more effective than formal preaching. 

When I got back to headquarters I found my own staff 
very considerably increased. Father Hanley had come 
back a couple of days before. The rumors of approaching 
action were all over France, so, sniffing the battle from 
afar, he got the hospital authorities to let him out and rejoin 
his regiment for the coming fight. I kept Father Carpen- 
tier attached to the regiment for the time being until I 
could get the Protestant chaplain that I had been petition- 
ing for so long. Father Hanley still had a perceptible limp 
and was moving around with the aid of a stick so I told 
him that he would have to look after the hospital center 
(Triage) while the fight was on, a commission that he took 
with no good grace. To Father Carpentier I gave a roving 
commission to look after Catholics in the Ohio and Ala- 
bama regiments, a task for which his zeal and endurance 
especially qualified him. 

Now I found two more Chaplains on my hands — one 
from the Knights of Columbus, Father Moran, an Irish 
Priest, and one assigned to the regiment, Chaplain Merrill 


J. Holmes of the M. E. Church. I liked him on sight and 
we were not long in getting on a basis of cordiality which 
will make our work together very pleasant. It was too late 
to send the extra chaplains to other regiments as we were 
even then getting ready to move forward into line, so I 
decided to keep them all under my wing. I told the lieuten- 
ants of the Headquarters Company that it would not be my 
fault if they did not all get to Heaven because we had five 
chaplains along. 'Tive Chaplains," said Lieutenant Charles 
Parker. ''Great Heavens ! there won't be a thing left for 
any of the rest of us to eat." 

The terrain which was to be the object of the attack of 
our three divisions was completely dominated on the left 
by the frowning heights of Mont Sec; and if they had been 
held in force by the enemy artillery it would have exposed 
our whole army corps to a flanking fire which would soon 
make progress impossible. It fell to the ist Division to 
make their advance along the mountain side. 

The ground over which we were to pass was for the most 
part fairly level up as far as the twin towns of Maizerais 
and Essey, to the left of which the Rupt de Mad made its 
way through swamps at the base of the hill which was 
crowned by these two villages. A number of woods dotted 
the surface; one of them, the Bois de Remieres, stood di- 
rectly in front of our advance. No Man's Land at this point 
was seven or eight hundred yards wide; and the German 
trenches, as we afterwards found, were not in very good 
condition, though there was plenty of wire standing both 
here and at other points that were prepared for defenc^. 
We were to jump off at the east of Seicheprey, and regi- 
mental headquarters and dressing station were established 
by Colonel Mitchell and Major Lawrence in the Bois de 
Jury, not far to the rear. 

We moved up to our jump-off point on the night of Sep- 
tember nth. The rain was falling in torrents. The roads 
were like a swamp and the night was so dark that a man 
could not see the one in front of him. And of course no 


lights could be lit. The road could not be left free for 
the foot soldiers, but was crowded with ammunition wag- 
ons, combat wagons, signal outfits and all the impedimenta 
of war. Time and again men had the narrowest escapes 
from being run down in the dark, and scarcely anybody 
escaped the misfortune of tripping and falling full length 
in the mud. It is a miracle of fate or of organization that 
tlic units were able to find their positions on such a night, 
I lit they all got where they belonged and found the lines 
neatly taped by Colonel Johnson's excellent body of en- 
gineers. The 1st Battalion was in the front line commanded 
by Lieutenant Colonel Donovan, who was not willing to 
let his newly conferred rank deprive him of the opportunity 
of leading his battalion in another fight. The 2nd bat- 
talion under Major Anderson was in the second line, and 
picked men from each of its companies were given the task 
of following close behind the ist, as moppers up, i. e., to 
overcome points of resistance which might be passed over, 
take charge of prisoners, etc. 

The men shivered through the night in the muddy 
trenches waiting in patient misery for morning and the 
orders to attack. At i :oo A. M. September 12th, our ar- 
tillery opened fire on the enemy. We had expected a night 
of terrific noise like that which preceded the German offen- 
sive on July 15th, but the present one was not nearly so 
fierce, though it would have seemed a wonderful show if 
we had not heard the other one. In July the gims on both 
sides were shooting everything they had without cessation. 
But, here, there was no enemy counter preparation fire and 
our own fire was more deliberate. 

Dawn broke on a cold, windy day and a cloud darkened 
sky. Donovan had been moving up and down his line with 
a happy smile on his face (unless he detected anything out 
of order) telling the men : 'There's nothing to it. It will 
be a regular walk-over. It will not be as bad as some of 
the cross-country runs I gave you in your training period." 
And when H hour arrived at 5 :oo A. M., the feeling of the 


men was one of gladness at the prospect of getting into 

Their way was prepared by a screen of smoke and a 
rolling barrage delivered by our artillery. Tanks advanced 
with our infantry crawling like iron-clad hippopotomi over 
the wire in front to make a passage-way. Some of them 
came to grief on account of the rain-softened ground, the 
edges of a trench giving way under the weight of a tank 
and standing it on its nose in the bottom. During the two 
days of advance we were well supplied with aeroplane serv- 
ice and possessed undoubted superiority in the air. 

The four-inch Stokes Mortars had been put in position to 
lay down a smoke barrage and the barrage began to pound 
the enemy front line at the zero hour. The shells whistled 
overhead much closer than they had done during the artil- 
lery preparation and broke on the enemy trenches kicking 
up red fire and black clouds where they hit. It was raining 
slightly, there was a mist, and dawn was not yet breaking 
when the machine gun barrage which took the men over 
began to fire. The men began to whisper among themselves 
"That's our stuff; no it's not, yes it is." All the sounds of 
battle were heard; the artillery, the small guns, and then, 
a little too soon, the Stokes Mortars in front of the Ala- 
bamas starting their fire-works which illuminated the entire 
front when the thermite shells exploded. 

Then everybody jumped and started forward. The 
Bois de Remieres lay in front of the right f^ank of our first 
battalion and as they moved forward, the flank units gave 
way to the left to pass around instead of through the woods. 
For a moment they lost direction. The support companies 
seemed to hesitate at the first belt of wire and began pick- 
ing their way rather too fastidiously through it. Lieutenant 
Harold L. Allen was with the headquarters group which 
consisted of a melange of runners, pioneers, liaison men, 
snipers, etc. He tells about Donovan running back from 
the front line shouting to the men "Get forward, there, what 
the hell do you think this is, a wake?" These words seemed 


to inspire Captain Siebert and as the lines moved forward 
he shouted loud and profane encouragement to the ma- 
cliine gun carriers burdened with boxes of ammunition and 
Tuggling forward through the tangle of trenches and 
broken wire. 

Machine gun resistance was met on the enemy's second 
line. The assault waves deployed and began firing. Auto- 
matic teams and snipers crawled forward to advantageous 
positions. Donovan, with his usual disregard of danger 
(never thinking of it in fact, but only occupied with getting 
through), moved back and forth along the line giving direc- 
tions, and the enemy resistance did not last long, most of 
their men surrendering. Donovan led his men at heart- 
breaking speed over the hills, smashing all resistance before 
them and sending in small groups of prisoners. St. Baus- 
sant was taken at the point of the bayonet and the line swept 
on. On the hill overlooking Maizerais the battalion was 
halted once more by machine gun fire, and a battery of 
artillery behind the village less than five hundred yards 
away. The Germans had evidently decided to make some 
sort of a stand, taking advantage of the hill and the protec- 
tion of the Rupt de Mad. But Donovan with about thirty 
men jumped into the river, made his way across it under 
fire, and when the Germans saw this determined assault 
from their flank they threw up their hands and cried **Kam- 

They attempted further resistance near Essey where they 
had machine gun pits in front of the village, but the re- 
sistance was quickly reduced by the aid of a tank and the 
village was cleared of the enemy. Donovan kept the bat- 
talion in the stone walled gardens on the outskirts of the 
town. Our own barrage was still pounding the village, for 
Essey represented the objective of the "First Phase, First 
Day," and some of our men who wandered into town were 
hit by flying stone from the walls of houses. 

Prisoners began to come in and a prisoner park was es- 
tablished near a big tree on the road leading into the village. 


French civilians were still living in this village, having spent 
the period of bombardment in a big dugout — the first ci- 
vilians that we had the pleasure of actually liberating. They 
laughed and wept and kissed everybody in sight and drew 
on their slender stock of provisions to feed the hungry men. 
The soldiers began wandering everywhere looking for sou- 
venirs. Corporal Kearin was in charge of the prison park. 
All the captives were from the ♦•egiments of the loth Di- 
vision, except a few from an attached Minenwerfer com- 
pany and an artillery regiment. They were eager for frater- 
nization and chatted and laughed with their captors. The 
men of the support battalions and from the units on our 
right and left, attracted by the town, began to straggle over. 
It resembled a County Fair, the prisoner park being the pop- 
ular attraction of the day. Americans literally swarmed 
around the prisoners in idle curiosity while others rum- 
maged through the German billets and headquarters look- 
ing for pistols, maps, German post-cards and letters — any- 
thing that would do for a souvenir. 

However, this did not last long, Donovan had his bat- 
talion out and going for the objective which was marked 
as "Second Phase, First Day," which lay beyond the next 
town of Pannes ; and Anderson, coming in with the bulk of 
the 2nd Battalion, imposed his rigorous discipline on those 
whose business it was to be in town. He certainly was not 
loved for knocking in the head of a barrel of beer which 
some of the fellows had found (and, by the way, there can 
be no better proof of the rapidity with which the Germans 
evacuated the town than the fact that they had left it be- 

Donovan met with further resistance when he arrived 
before Pannes about one o'clock in the afternoon. He 
called for artillery and tanks and filtered up his men along 
the trees on the edge of the road while the Ohios advanced 
on the left and the Alabamas make a flanking movement 
against the town from its right. They soon had the op- 
position broken and by 1 145 P. M. pur advanced elements, 




widely extended, were proceeding from Pannes towards 
the Bois de Thiaucourt, and at 1 155 the objective "Second 
Phase, First Day" was occupied by the 165th Infantry. 

The whole day it had been a wild gallop with occasional 
breathing spells when the Germans put up some resistance. 
From the rising ground around Essey men looked back, 
and towards the west and east where the ist and the 89th 
were also moving forward. It was like a moving picture 
battle. Tanks were crawling up along the muddy roads and 
khaki colored figures could be seen moving about in ones 
and twos and fours along the edges of the woods and across 
the grassy plains. Toward the rear were passing ever 
larger groups of prisoners in their blue gray uniforms, 
carrying their personal belongings and in many cases their 
own wounded as well as ours on improvised litters. Over- 
head the shells were still screaming from our heavy artil- 
lery with a good deal of answering fire from the German 
batteries, which caused most of our losses. 

The prisoners were mainly Austrians and Austrian Slavs. 
They had not been very keen about the war at any time 
and were made less so on finding that they had been left 
behind after the bulk of the army had withdrawn. Many 
of them had been in the United States, and the first ques- 
tion that one of them asked was "Can I go back now to 
Sharon, Pa?" One of them was found seated in a dugout 
with a bottle of Schnapps and a glass. He immediately 
offered a drink to his captor saying *T don't drink it myself, 
but I thought it would be a good thing to offer to an Ameri- 
can who would find me." 

During the afternoon of the 12th the brigade P. C. was 
moved to Essey, regimental P. C. to Pannes. The ist bat- 
talion organized their position just south of the Bois de 
Thiaucourt which was held by patrols who took more pris- 
oners; the 2nd battalion about i,cx)0 yards further back on 
the reverse slope of a hill; and the 3rd battalion just outside 
the town. 

The next day's task was still easier. Donovan's men 


jumped off at 6:io A. M. with Companies B and C in the 
lead and A and D in support. Their patrols to the front 
at the time reported no contact with the enemy. Major 
Reilley with the 3rd Battahon was sent as Division Reserve 
for the 1st Division br.t was later ordered back. The ist 
Battalion, followed by the 2nd, pushed through the Bois 
de Thiaucourt and the Bois de Beney capturing a couple of 
prisoners and meeting with no resistance. At the Sebasto- 
pol Farm a woman told them that the Germans were just 
ahead and retreating. The advance of our men was some- 
what delayed by a gun in our supporting artillery which 
kept firing short and endangering the men, as one of the 
greatest difficulties in a rapid advance such as was made at 
St. Mihiel is that of maintaining liaison with the rear. By 
half past nine they had captured the enemy's supply depot 
along the railway track, with the neighboring village of St 
Benoit and the Chateau St. Benoit. It was a foot race all 
the way between the four infantry regiments and our fel 
lows claim they won it by a good half hour, but I haven't 
heard yet what the others have to say. I only know that 
if I ever have to follow up our infantry again in such an 
attack I am going to wait for an express train. 

One thing that stands out most impressively in the mem- 
ories of the 165th regarding this action is the devotion and 
courage of one of our former commanding officers. The 
dugout where Lieutenant Colonel Donovan established his 
temporary headquartres on the night of September 11 -12th, 
was very small and very crowded. Every officer command- 
ing a unit of the auxiliary arms crowded into it to avoic 
the nasty drizzle and darkness outside. The room was full 
of smoke, some of which managed to get outside as officer 
after officer came in to report the' position of his unit. II 
was like the headquarters of an army corps. Parker of the 
one-pound cannons was perched on the upper deck of 2 
bunk flanked by Siebert of the machine gims and a Frencl: 
Lieutenant who had come in to report that the accompany- 
ing tanks were ready. Lieutenants Allen and Betty were 


trying to carry out Donovan's numerous orders. Captain 
Stone of the 149th Field Artillery pushed his way into the 
^' crowded room and reported to Donovan that his battery had 
been detailed to roll forward with the assaulting infantry. 
? There was some conversation between them as to the condi- 
tions of the roads near Seicheprey and the possibility of 
halving the battery follow close behind the assault, the num- 
ber of available rounds of ammunition with the guns and 
the chance of delay in getting them forward over No Man's 
Land. The conversation continued for a few minutes and 
was ended by Donovan saying, "Well, we have not done it 
before but we'll give it a whirl this time.'* 

Just then Major Lawrence opened tlie door and called 
"Colonel, here's an old friend of yours." It was Colonel 
Hine. Wet and muddy and tired but evidently delighted to 
be back with the old regiment. Donovan gave him an en- 
thusiastic welcome as did all the rest, although Betty whis- 
pered to Allen in a humorous grouch "I'll bet Donovan will 
want us to get a room and bath for him" — referring to 
the Colonel's practice of inviting everyone in to dinner or 
to share quarters no matter where he was or what he might 
have, and then putting it up to the stafif to provide. Every- 
body naturally thought that Colonel Hine had come to view 
the battle from the regimental observation post on the hill 
near the Bois de Jury but later in the night when they moved 
down to the parallel of departure Colonel Hine was still 
along, sharing the experiences of the rest of them, stumb- 
ling into shell holes and tripping over barbed wire in the 
darkness. When they went over in the morning he was 
still there, and with the first wave ; and all through that day's 
fight and the next, he fought along by the side of his old 
men, who conceived an admiration for him in their loyal 
souls that nothing will ever efface. 

Colonel Hine had obtained leave from his duties in order 
to satisfy his desire of going through a big battle with his 
beloved 69th. It was a unique compliment to the regiment 
itself. The regiment appreciates it as such, but it dwells 


more on the soldierly ardor and high courage of its first 
Colonel, who, though he had been transferred to less dan- 
gerous duties, found his way back to us and fought as a vol- 
unteer private in the regiment he had commanded. Such 
deeds as this are set forth in the story-books of history as 
an inspiration to the youth of the land. 

In picking up stories of the fight I got one from Lieuten- 
ant Allen which I have jotted down as he gave it to me. 
"We came in front of Essey. Here there was a hill marked 
on the aeroplane photographs and maps which were issued 
before the attack as ^Dangerous, go to the right and left' 
As we came over the top of this hill and advanced on its 
forward slope the battaHon drew machine gun fire from 
the enemy guns disposed in pits in front of the village. I was 
out in front in a shell-hole with two snipers. One of them 
I sent back to Donovan with a message; the other began 
firing on the enemy who now began to run back into the 
village. In an adjoining shell-hole a few feet away, a sol- 
dier from our battalion sold a German Luger Pistol to an 
officer from some other regiment who had wandered from 
his sector, for thirty-five francs. A French tank caught 
up to us at this stage of the fight and moved down the hill 
until it was in front of the shell-hole where I was. I 
rapped on the side of his turret and called to the pilot, who 
reversed the turret and while the bullets slapped the side of 
his tank, opened the window. He was a dapper little 
Frenchman with the ends of his moustache waxed in points, 
and was clean and smiling. I gave him a target in front 
of the town and he fired several round at a mass of retreat- 
ing Boches hurrying over the next hill. Opening the 
window again, he smiled and said *How's that?' then he 
went lumbering on." 

As the first battalion was making its advance during the 
second day it was held up in front of Sebastopol Farm 
by our own barrage which had not yet lifted. While wait- 
ing there they saw a French peasant woman with a small 
boy grasping her hand running through the shell fire from 


the direction of the farm. When questioned, she was in a 
great rage against the Boches and reported that a battalion 
of their troops had evacuated St. Benoit during the night. 
She also gave the welcome information that there were 
supplies of food in the farm and was very grateful to the 
Americans for releasing her from four years of captivity. 
She was the only woman that we saw actually on the battle- 
field during the war. 

When our fellows reached St. Benoit they found that 
the Germans had started a fire in the Chateau, but it was 
quickly extinguished. The church too, had been set on fire 
and was beyond saving. When Jim Barry of C. Company 
saw it blazing he shouted ''Glory be to God, those devils 
have burnt the church. Let's see what we can save out of 
it." With Tierney and Boyle and others following after 
lie ran into the burning building and carried out statues 
and candelabra which they deposited carefully outside. 
.Having finished their pious work they began to remember 
that they were hungry. Barry took from his musette bag 

nie German potatoes which he had stored there in place 
L i grenades that had been used up in action, and said, "Well 
we have done what we could, and now we've got a good fire 
here, and we might as well use it." They stuck the potatoes 
on the ends of their bayonets and roasted them in the em- 
bers. Just then another party came along with some bottled 
beer that they had salvaged from the German supplies in 
Pannes, so they picnicked merrily in the square in front of 
the blazing temple. 

It was well for all of us that the Germans had departed 
so suddenly that they left supplies behind, because it was 
an almost impossible task to get the kitchens and ration 
wagons through, on account not only of the poor condition 
of the roads but of the congestion of traffic. We never saw 
a worse jam in the whole war than on the main road from 
Seicheprey to Pannes — tanks, gims and caissons, ammuni- 
tion wagons, trucks, infantry trains, all trying to get for- 
ward along one narrow road, and the whole line held up if 


a single vehicle got stuck; mounted men and foot soldiers 
trailed along the edge of this procession often having to | 
flounder through the swamps of the Rupt de Mad. \ 

The situation became dangerous towards evening of the j 
second day when a large squadron of enemy battle planes 
swooped down on our own, and after the fiercest contest I , 
have ever seen in the air drove two of ours to earth and } 
regained the mastery. They did not, however, resort to j 
bombing, satisfying themselves with reporting conditions to 
their own artillery. Our wagon train had a most uncom- 
fortable half hour as it passed along the road between Beney 
and St. Benoit. Shell after shell came hissing towards 
them, but luckily, the German guns were firing just a trifle 
short. If the shells had carried another fifty yards the train 
would have been wiped out; but the drivers sat steady on 
their boxes and kept the mules going at even pace until they 
reached their destination. 

Pannes had still a number of civilians, about thirty in 
all, and all of them very old people or children, the able- 
bodied ones having been carried off by the enemy. Those 
remaining received their deliverers with open arms, and all 
the old ladies insisted on kissing Lieutenant Rerat, very 
handsome and blushing in his neat uniform of horizon-hleu. 
They had been rationed by the Germans during the four 
years of occupation; none too well, but with enough to 
keep them fit to work. They gave us all they had, and we 
had an opportunity to get an idea of- what German soldiers 
got to eat. The bread was an indigestible looking mass on 
the order of pumpernickel. The coffee was far ivotn. being 
Mocha, but sugar seemed to be more plentiful than in 
France. The Fall vegetables were not yet ripe but the fields 
had been sown with potatoes, turnips, kohlrabi, and acres 
and acres of cabbage. The French authorities gave orders 
to have all civilians evacuated to the rear whether they 
wanted it or not; and Lieutenant Rerat and I assembled 
them with their pitiful little collection of belongings an4 
Bent them back in ambulances. 

fcpploifoiion Line 

v4rfny Objective 


P^Pha5& f^Pocyr 

Present Enemy Lines 

line of Pepdvrture 

Jump Off 
yMornin^ of Sept.i2.i9i8 

Sco^le i: 80.000 

eO '■'* Ofr/s/on 

To IllusfroieXheOffejisivo 


TheSt^ihiel Se^lient. 



It was a great place for souvenir hunting — pistols, spurs, 
German post-cards, musical instruments — all sorts of loot. 
I saw Bill Schmidt with a long steel Uhlan's lance; while 
Tom Donohue, true to his instincts, came by with no less 
than four violins. Most of the men, of a more normal type 
of soldier, passed up the musical instruments in search for 
German sausages and beer. There were also vast amounts 
of military stores and ammunition, as well as the field pieces 
and machine guns which had been captured in the battle. 

Major Lawrence thinks that five or six of his men de- 
serve a citation, for going out voluntarily under the leader- 
ship of Sergeant Eichorn and James Mason to rescue a 
wounded officer in another regiment. The Sanitary Detach- 
ment is very happy because they not only have the Major 
back but also three popular sergeants — Grady, Hayes and 
Maher who for a time have been attached to the Ohios. 

Lieutenant Clifford is enthusiastic about the courage of 
Sergeant Gilgar of Company B who went ahead with five 
men against an enemy position, manoeuvred his party into a 
position where he threatened the German rear, and then, 
by putting on a bold front as if he had a whole company 
behind him, frightened them into surrender and returned 
to our line with thirty-two prisoners. Sergeant John 
Mohr's life w^as saved by the quickness of John Moran who 
was just in time in killing a German who was trying to get 
our veteran Sergeant. 

Chaplain Holmes, who had walked into fight his very first 
day at the front, was anxious to do his full share, and 
volunteered while we were at Pannes to scour the battle- 
field in order to bury the dead. Lieutenant Flynn and a de- 
tachment from Headquarters Company went with him and 
carried out this mournful task. At the time we had no way 
of knowing for certain just how many of ours had fallen 
on the field. The battlefield was in our hands from the 
first and anyone who had a spark of life in him was carried 
quickly to the rear. Later estimates placed the number of 
our dead, up to the present, as about thirty-five. The high- 


est in rank was Thomas J. Curtin, ist Sergeant of Company 
D, who was hit by a rifle bullet advancing at the head of a 
platoon. In Company A we lost another good Sergeant, 
William Walsh; and in the same company Corporals Pat- 
rick Doolan, Patrick McDermott and John McDonald with 
Privates Joseph Biskey and William Williams ; in Company 
B, Mechanic Henry Schumacher and Private N. W. Black- 
man, Douglas Cummings, Humberto Florio, William Poole 
and Dominic Zollo ; in Company C, Privates John Nanarto, 
Felix Curtis, Manfred Emanuelson, Thomas F. Petty and 
Augustus Altheide ; in Company D, Corporal Philip Greeler, 
Privates Ferdinand Urban, Ernest E. Martin, Horace Mu- 
sumeck, William Mitchell, Walter Long, Clarence Gabbert, 
with Corporal James MacDonald and Daniel Harkins (died 
of wounds) ; Company E lost Corporals Michael Rooney 
and William Bechtold; Company F, James Wynne, Rex 
Strait, Eugene Rogers, Angelo Kanevas and Jesse Scott; 
Company G, William Perkins; Company H, James Spiker 
and Joseph Deese ; Company K, Privates Joseph Dearmon, 
G. C. Kenly and W. H. Leach, Company M ; O. O. Dykes 
and Edward Kiethley, while the Machine Gun Company 
suffered the loss of John F. MacMillan, Edward Hantschke 
and Charles Brown. Lieutenant Boag was wounded. 

The Chateau St. Benoit is a fine roomy building — a per- 
fect palace of dreams after the outlandish places that had 
constituted our abodes. But every body in it has an uneasy 
feeling that it makes a splendid target for enemy artillery. 
Charles Carman said to me : "Any gunner that couldn't hit 
this building at night with his eyes shut ought to be sent 
back to whatever the Heinies call their S. O. S." They 
have missed it however, and more than a few times; but 
perhaps that is because they have still hopes of occupying 
it. Three big 150's came over last night and just missed 
knocking off the comer of the building where General Mac- 
Arthur was sleeping. They landed in the stable and killed 
some of our horses. 

We are in for a considerable amount of shelling period- 


ically. A high trajectory shell, like our American rattle- 
snake, has at least the rudimentary instincts of a gentlemen. 
It gives fair warning before it strikes, and a man can make 
an attempt to dodge it; but the Austrian 88's are mean all 
the way through. It sounds Irish to say that you hear it 
coming after it explodes, but that is literally true if it falls 
short of you. 

The whole sector has been pinched off by the operation 
and we are now in touch with the French on our left, the 
1st Division being crowded out by the operation, and the 
89th Division still occupying the postions to our right. We 
are faced now in the general direction of Metz, and the 
Germans occupy the Hindenburg line as their line of de- 
fense. Our main business has been to organize our newly 
acquired positions and to throw out frequent patrols to test 
out the enemy. 

Colonel Donovan established his battalion headquarters 
in the Forester's House on the road to Haumont which was 
the nearest village held by the enemy. Here Sergeant Moore 
of B Company brought him a German prisoner whom he 
had just captured. On interrogation he said that he vs^as a 
sentinel of a machine gun cossack post and that in the post 
there was an officer and eight men including one non-com. 
All of these he thought would be willing to surrender ex- 
cept the officer and perhaps the N. C. O. Colonel Donovan 
suggested that a rope be tied to the prisoner and that he 
be compelled to guide a patrol to the outpost, but the Ger- 
man protested that it was entirely unnecessary, as he was 
willing to betray his comrades. A patrol was sent out whicl: 
captured the outpost and killed the officer, who, as predicted 
put up the only resistance encountered. Our patrol was de- 
lighted at making the capture, but if a chance shot hac 
ended the career of the man who had betrayed his owr 
officer, no one amongst ours would have shed any tears. 

Patrols from the ist and 2nd battalions were sent ou' 
frequently both by day and by night until September 17th 
Some prisoners were captured, and we had our own losses 


In the first battalion a patrol of Company F came back with- 
out Bernard Cafferty and Lawrence Whalen who put for 
shelter with the rest, under withering German fire, and 
are probably killed. 

I have picked up a couple of stories which relieve a little 
this sombre side of war. Lieutenant Ogle took out a patrol 
one dark night and found in his party one soldier withopt 
a rifle, for which he rebuked him in a savage whisper. 
Later on he discovered that it was Father Carpentier who 
had accom.panied the patrol — he says to render spiritual 
first aid if anyone was wounded. "Yes," I said, "th-^t's 
what the priest told the bishop: that he went to the hor.e 
races so as to be handy if one of the jockeys were thrcv^n." 

Allen likes to tell stories on Donovan, for whom he has 
great admiration. One afternoon he came in from patrol 
very hungry after being away since early morning, and he 
dropped into Captain Buck's shack near Hassavant Farm, 
which was also occupied by Colonel Donovan. "Captain 
Buck's orderly promised me a roast beef sandwich and left 
the room to prepare it. I repeat I was very hungry and 
was anticipating with great pleasure the coming roast beef 
sandwich. In a few minutes the orderly returned with the 
food. It was a large sandwich with a luscious rare slice 
of roast beef protruding from the slices of bread, and with 
it the orderly brought a cup of coffee which he placed with 
the sandwich on the table. Precisely at this moment a sol- 
dier entered with two prisoners; one a small Roumanian 
about sixteen years of age, and the other a tall, gaunt, dirty 
looking soldier, both members of a labor battalion. They 
had been lost in the retreat and had wandered several days 
in the woods, until encountering one of our patrols they 
had surrendered. Donovan grabs the sandwich with one 
hand and the cup of coffee with the other. The small boy 
got the sandwich and the old man the cup of coffee. I 
immediately protested ^Colonel,' I said, *it is against regu- 
lations to feed prisoners before they have been questioned 
at Divison. You should not feed these men.* *Allen,' he 


said, *you ought to be ashamed of yourself. This poor 
little boy has been wandering around in the woods for two 
days with nothing to eat/ 'Besides,' I said, 'that was my 
sandwich.' *And you,' he continued, *a great big healthy 
man, would take his meal away from him.' " 


September 26th 
On September 17th our regiment was relieved by the Ala- . 
bamas and the men were encamped altogether in the town 1 
of La Marche, which consists of one large ferme with a few ;< 
extra stone buildings and a number of wooden shacks which ! 
were constructed by the Germans. In the big farm house , 
we are a happy party. Colonel Mitchell likes to have his 1 
officers around him and they share his feelings to the full. 
We have plenty of provisions, a good many of them Ger- ; 
man, and Staff and Field Officers are messing together, f; 
At table are Colonel Mitchell, Lieutenant Colonel Donovan, j^ 
Majors Reilley, Anderson, Kelly and Lawrence, Captain H 
Meaney, Adjutant, Captain Merle-Smith, Operations Offi-i-r 
cer. Lieutenant Rerat, Lieutenant Spencer and myself. If;; 
my fancy leads me to the open air I can walk down theN 
road to Pannes where Captain Mangan with Kinney and[f 
Frank Smith are working away with their doughty mule-i^ 
skinners, unless perchance the German shells chase them:! 
underground; or across the open field to the woods where; 
our men are leading a lazy though muddy existence. 

Various incidents, amusing or tragical as is the way of 
war, broke the comparative monotony of these ten days., 
There was a captive observation balloon just outside the 
village which evidently must have had a good view of the 
enemy because they were most anxious to get it down. No 
aeroplane succeeded in setting fire to it, so the Germans got 
after it with long range guns. One afternoon the fire got 
so hot that the chauffeur of the truck to which it was at- 
tached started down the road to get out of range with the 


big sausage still floating in the air at the end of its cable, 
the Germans increasing their range as their target moved. 
Sergeant Daly, the mess sergeant of the Machine Gun Com- 
pany, was peacefully crossing the field on a lazy going mule 
unaware of what it was all about, when a German shell 
aimed at the aeroplane down the road passed with the speed 
and noise of a freight train about twenty feet above his 
head. The mule gave one leap forward, and Daly was not 
trying to stop him; and two thousand soldiers who had 
been watching the flight of the balloon burst into a tre- 
mendous laugh. 

On the night of September 23rd, a large calibre German 
shell made a direct hit right into a shelter pit in the woods 
where five of the best men in our^ machine gun company 
' were lying asleep ; Sergeant Frank Gardella, who had won 
the D. S. C., Sergeant Harry P. Bruhn and Sergeant J. F. 
Flint, with Privates H. McCallum and William Drake, who 
was one of three brothers in the company. All five were 
blown out of the hole by the concussion as high as the lower 
branches of the trees. Sergeant Flint landed, bruised and 
stunned, but untouched by the fragments. He gathered 
himself together and found Gardella killed instantly and the 
other three terribly wounded. He bound them up, calling 
for help, which was brought by Lieutenant De Lacour, and 
the three wounded men were gotten back to the hospital by 
Major Lawrence and Captain Dudley, but we had little 
hopes for them, and have since heard that they died of their 

Jim Cassidy, Frankie Maguire and Jimmy Kelly found 
some German flour which they brought into the Head- 
quarters Kitchen. They are a guileless looking trio and I 
* cannot say to this day how deep a part they played in this 
afifair. They gave the flour to Joe De Nair. Now Joseph 
Patrick De Nair has knocked around this world for more 
years than he will acknowledge to anybody — long enough 
at any rate, to have learned how to turn his hand to any- 
thing; and he announced his intention of making pancakes 


for all hands, especially me. Everybody was set to work 
under Joe's direction. Fred Miller and Anderson salvaged 
some molasses. Al Ettinger was hustled off on his motor- 
cycle to Pannes to use my name with Lieutenant Scheffler 
for some oleo, of which we were short. Pat Sharkey rustled 
wood ; Frank Clason built a fire and John Brickley flattened 
and polished a tin for Joe's cooking. Bill Hanley and Hum* 
phrey were appointed assistant chefs. There was a group 
around me consisting of Proctor, Holt, Katz and Proud- 
foot, and Joe came over : ''All you ginks have got to work. 
There are no guests around here except Father Duffy." 
I told him they had been reading an article in the ''Daily 
Mail" on the Irish question and were asking me about it. 
That saved them, for Ireland counted more with Joe than 
even the success of his pancakes. 

The bustling preliminaries were finally completed and Joe 
proceeded to make his batter. He poured it on the tin and 
waited, turning-spoon in hand until, like St. Lawrence, it 
should be done on one side. Then with the air of an 
artist, he turned his first pancake with a flourish. It 
landed on the pan with a bang like a shell striking an 

elephant hut. "What the ," muttered Joe, as he picked 

up the results of his labor. "Well I'll be !" "What's 

the matter Joe?" I asked, conscious that something was 
going wrong and that my presence deprived him of the 
normal outlet for his feelings. "What's the matter. 
Where's those dummed kids ?" "Well, what is the matter?'* 
"What's the matter. What's the matter? The stuff they 
gave me for flour is plaster of Paris. That's what's the 

matter. Where the Oh for Heaven's sake, Father, go 

inside until I can let myself spill." 


October loth. 

On September 27th, we relieved the 84th Brigade in the 

line, taking over the positions of the lowas in sub-sectof 


Marimbois, Major Anderson's battalion being in the for- 
ward position. It was the usual business of patrolling until 
September 30th, when our Division was relieved in the 
Sector by the 89th, and withdrew to the Bois de la Belle 
Oziere, a little south of where we were before. Next 
morning, October ist, we marched about 10 kilometers to 
our embussing point, where we found a tremendously large 
fleet of camions driven by the little Chinks whom our fel- 
lows now call the undertakers, because they associate them 
with deaths and burials. 

Here I met an old friend, George Boothby of the New 
York World, who had finally succeeded in getting over to 
;the war by entering the publicity department of the Y. M. 
C. A. The uniform with the red triangle somehow caused 
a smile when seen on George, but he was the first to grin. 

We got started at four o'clock in the afternoon and 
spent the whole of a freezing night on the journey, most 
of it lying along the Voie Sacree or Sacred Way, over which 
the supplies and reinforcements had been sent which saved 
Verdun. Our destination was Mondrecourt where we re- 
mained until October 4th, when we marched by daylight 
to Jubccourt. On October 5th we moved north again, an 
interminable march, with all the infantry in the Division 
going up on one mean road, to the woods of Montfaucon. 

I had it easy myself because Colonel Mitchell with his 
usual fine way of doing a courtesy, asked me as a favor to 
gtt the automobile and some personal baggage through, as 
le was going mounted. So Brown and Dayton and myself 
^ot there by better roads ahead of the rest and found our- 
selves at the headquarters of the 32nd Division, where Col- 
onel Callan and Father Dunnigan gave me a hospitable wel- 
ome. When I heard "32nd Division," my first thought 
was "Now I can. see McCoy again," as he had been made 
eneral of the 63rd Brigade, but it was two days before 

descried his familiar figure crowned with the French 
■osque, a parting gift from tlie Comte de Chambrun when 


he left Chaumont. It was a memorable meeting, but all too 
short, for he had his brigade in line to look after. 

The woods of Montfaucon, which lie in the area of the 
great battles for Verdun, fills exactly a civilian's idea of 
what No Man's Land should look like. In its day it was a 
fine forest of thick-girthed trees, but they had been battered 
by long cannonading until not one of them was as nature 
had fashioned it. Big branches had been torn off and heavy 
trees knocked to the ground. The shell-holes lay close to- 
gether like pock marks on a badly pitted face. It was 
almost impossible to find a level spot to pitch a small pup 
tent. Owing to recent rains and the long occupation of the 
woods by troops, both our own and the enemy's, the place 
was in a bad state of sanitation. The roads, too, were bad 
and difficult for all kinds of traffic, particularly motor 
traffic. There were very few dugouts, all of them small ! 
and most of them dirty and wet. Division headquarters 
established itself in trucks as being better than any existing 
accommodations. General Lenihan kindly took me in and 
gave me a share in the dugout occupied by himself and 
Lieutenant Grose. Together we made a happy week of it 
in spite of bad conditions. 

While here we received word that the Germans had asked 
for an armistice. The older and wiser heads amongst us 
felt quite certain that they would not get what they had 
asked for until they were reduced to a more humble spirit; 
but we were worried about the effect it might have on the 
morale of the troops, because it would be particularly hard 
for soldiers to face another big battle if they had made up 
their minds that the fighting was over. So Colonels Mit- 
chell and Donovan asked me to go amongst the men, sound 
them out, and set them right if necessary. It was an easy 
commission. One of the first men I spoke to was Vincent 
Mulholland, one of my parish recruits and now ist Ser- 
geant of Company B. In answer to my first question he 
replied "Of course I would like to see the war over, but 
not while the old regiment is back here in army corps re- 


serve. I want to see this war end with the 69th right out 
in the front Hne, going strong." Not everybody was as 
emphatic as that, but I was able to make a very assured 
report that the old timers at least would go into a battle 
with the same spirit they had at Champagne or the Ourcq 
or St. Mihiel. 

Jack Mangan has left us to take charge of the organiza- 
tion of the Headquarters Battalion of the new Second 
Army at Toul. Colonel Haskell, who is assistant Chief 
of Stafif in the 2nd Army, visited us during our journey 
ivnm Baccarat to Chalons and got a great reception from 
the old-timers. Even then, he had his eye on Mangan and 
wanted him to come with him. There is nothing that so 
much impresses me as a proof of the absolute sense of duty 
and loyalty of our old officers to this regiment as the at- 
titude which they invariably take concerning invitations to 
improve their rank and fortunes by going elsewhere. The 
younger officers have no choice in the matter. We have 
! 11 sending home as instructors a few of them each month, 

1 have lost a large number of very efficient lieutenants. 

t those who are free to exercise any choice invariably 
view the opportunity as a question of conscience and put 
the matter up to me. Major McKenna (then Captain) did 
this in the Luncville area when he had a chance for the office 
of Judge Advocate. In the same spirit Mangan said he 
v; uld not quit to join Haskell unless I decided that the 

;^iment could spare him. My decision was that he could 
U')t go until Kinney was made a Captain, as I knew that 
the latter could fill admirably the extremely important post 
oi R. S. O. 

The hardest battle of all has been to keep Donovan with 
the Regiment, but he has made that fight himself, as there 
is no place else in the world that would tempt him for a 
minute. He has dodged orders to send him to Staff Col- 
'c^Q (which would inevitably mean a transfer after he was 
iiiished), orders to go on special duties, invitations or sug- 
gestions to receive promotion by transfer. General Meno- 


her and Colonel MacArthur have been always alert to take 
up the battle to retain him with us. He and I tramped the 
muddy road tonight while he disburdened himself of a new 
worry. The Provost Marshal General wants an assistant 
who is at once a good lawyer and a keen soldier, with a 
knowledge of French, and he has demanded that Donovan 
be sent to him. Colonel Hughes, our new Chief of Staff, 
has done his best to block it; but he has been informed by 
General Headquarters that the authorities of the 42nd Divi- 
sion have managed to evade the wishes of military authority 
in Colonel Donovan's case six times already and that this 
order is peremptory. All that General Menoher has been 
able to do is to hold him until the next battle is over. 
Donovan is disgusted and sore for the first time in my 
knowledge of him. 

Every now and then there is some desultory shelling in 
the woods, but the only sight of warfare that we get is in 
the sky. Our balloons must be well placed, because the; 
German flyers have been very persistent in their attempts toj 
bring them down, and their efforts are too often successful. 
Today, we saw a German aviator perform a feat which was[ 
one of the most daring things that any of us has seen during j 
the war. The rapid and sustained discharge of anti-aircraft! 
guns (which have their own unmistakable note) brought j 
everybody to the edge of the woods. Guided by puffs oij 
white or black smoke which dotted the sky above us, w(| 
were able to detect a single German plane headed unswervS 
ingly towards us, and not flying very high either. Our owi| 
planes were swooping towards him, but he came right onfe 
without any change of altitude or direction. He passecl 
over our line of balloons, and then turned abruptly amSj 
dived towards the one nearest us, throwing his dart amk 
passing on. The flames did not show at once, and evidentl;j!i 
noticing this, he checked his flight and started back to finisll.; 
the job. Just then the flames burst up, and he wheeled iij 
air to make his escape. Soldiers in combat divisions ar'. 
the best sports in the world. There must have been twent;, • 


thousand of them watching this daring exploit of an enemy, 
and I feel certain there was not a man amongst them who 
did not murmur *'I hope to God the beggar gets away." 
There were a dozen of our planes after him by this time 
and before he reached his own lines they forced him to 
earth, landing in safety. 

As I make my rounds amongst the men scattered through 

the woods, Lfind many whose names I do not know. In 

1 the original regiment I knew practically everyone by his 

name; but through a variety of causes half of those men 

,;are no longer with us and their places have been taken by 

i; others, with whom, on account of our constant motion, it 

has been impossible to get acquainted. 

The wearing down of a regiment, even outside of battle, 
1 constant. Brigade and Division Headquarters select 
those that they want for their own work, bright sergeants 
are sent off to Army Candidate's School to be trained for 
oilicers, and are invariably sent to other divisions. There 
is a constant trickle of sick men to hospitals, from which 
many never return to us; and most of all, there are the 
tremendous losses that a regiment, particularly an infantry 
regiment, has to pay in battle. Our total losses in action 
of killed, wounded and missing up to the present are about 
2,6oo men. Taking all causes into consideration nearly 
3,000 of our original men have been dropped, at least 
temporarily, from our rolls since we came to France. H 
none of them had returned there would be now only 600 
of them left, but as a matter of fact, nearly all of our 
wounded who have graduated into the "Fit for Service" 
class have insisted on their right to come back. So about 
half of our present total of 2,983 men are of the original 
outfit. It is easy to pick them out by glancing down a com- 
pany roster, because our serial numbers are all under 
100,000 while the new men have numbers running into the 

I do not find that the spirit of the regiment as a whole 
has changed on account of these fresh accessions. A regi- 


ment is largely what its officers and non-coms, make it. 
Practically all of our present officers have been through all 
the fights* with us and have gained their present ranks in 
battle, and the non-coms are naturally men of the original 
regiment who have earned their stripes by good soldiering 
in camp and in the field. These men are the custodians of 
regimental pride and regimental tradition, and their spirit is 
communicated to or imposed upon the new-comers. 

Most of these newcomers moreover, have proved them- 
selves excellent material. The first few that were sent us 
in Luneville were poor foreigners from the coal mining 
districts who could scarcely speak English, but in Baccarat 
we got three hundred men from Camp Devens who were 
a fine lot of fellows, and, now that they have gone through 
the big fights with us, are not to be distinguished in any way 
from the original volunteers. We received a lot of first 
class men also from the Kentucky-Tennessee and the Texas- 
Oklahoma National Guard organizations, among the latter 
being a number of Indians. All of these replacements who i 
have gone through battles with us are now absolutely part 
and parcel of the 165th Infantry and have created bonds of 
battle friendship with our Irish and New York lads which 1 
are closer than any family tie can be. 

In any extended campaign it is a very rare soldier who, 
does not get the experience of being in a hospital at least I 
once ; although we could not possibly spend as much time j 
in them as rumors that they get at home make our people 
think we do. I myself have been killed or wounded at least 
a dozen times. The other day Lester Sullivan, who comes 
from my parish, looked up from a letter he was reading 
and said to me "Father Duffy if you had ten thousand dol- 
lars insurance for every time you were killed you*d never 
need to work for the rest of your life." 

After battles of course they are being sent back by hun- 
dreds and thousands. Jim Healey was telling me a yam 
which hits off a type of humor that is characteristic of the 
American. A hospital train pulled into a French station 


with its doors and windows and platforms crowded with 
^'walking cases" and stopped on a track alongside a similar 
train with the same kind of a crowd looking out. "Where 
are youse guys from?" shouted one of the soldiers. "Fohty- 
second Division. Whey you all from?" *'De rest of de 
Forty-second Division" came the reply — everybody shout- 
ing with laughter at this bit of delicate and tender humor. 

Hospitals thus become, like London coffee houses in the 

j<Sth century, the clearing houses of news and the creators 

'" public opinion. They are the only place where soldiers 

ct men who do not belong to their own Division; in 

t, soldiers seldom meet anybody outside their own regi- 

licnt and many a man's friendships do not extend beyond 

his company. But in hospitals, and more particularly in 

ivalescent and casual camps, where they are able to move 
and, they come into touch with the whole American 

peditionary Force. Battles are discussed, organizations 

iticized, reputations of officers made or unmade. 

! t is in these places also that the sentiment for one's own 

vision grows strong. Regiments may fight with each 
'it her within the Division, but as opposed to other Divisions present a united front. The regulars and marines in 
th;e famous 2nd Division have their own little differences, 
hilt they do not show when they come up against men from 
the 1st, 26th, or 42nd. Our own New Yorks and Alabamas 
started off with a small family row at Camp Mills which 
has been utterly forgotten, partly because they have always 
been fighting side by side on every battle front and have 
grown to admire each other, but even more, I suspect, be- 
cause they have formed ties of blood brotherhood back in 
convalescent camps by getting together to wallop the ma- 

Every soldier in a combat division thinks that his own 
division is doing all the work and getting none of the credit. 
But then I never met a soldier yet who does not say 'Tt's a 
funny thing that my platoon always happens to get the dirty 
details." This much is true — that there is a number of di- 


visions which can be counted on the fingers of one's two 
hands that have been kept right up against the buzz-saw 
ever since last June. Of course we are not proper judges of 
the policies or exigencies of the high command, but every- 
body who is in touch with men knows that they would be 
better fitted for their work in the line if they could be taken 
out for a few weeks rest. The discomforts and anxieties 
of life at the front are cumulative, and men gradually get 
fretful and grouchy as well as run down physically. It 
is surprising to see how quickly they recuperate in a rest 
area. We ought to be taken out of these woods to some 
more civilized place where the men can go on leave or hang 
around billets, writing letters, reading, cleaning equipment 
and forgetting all about battle and bloodshed, and getting 
freshened up mentally and physically. As one fellow said 
to me "I'd like to get somewhere where I could hear a hen 
cackle and see a kid run across the road. I'd like to be 
where I could get a change from corn-willie by going off 
some evening with a few of the fellows and getting some 
old French lady to cook us up some oofs (oeiifs) and 
pommes friteSj with a bottle of red ink to wash it down." 

We knew that there had been going on for three weeks 
now a battle for the possession of all this Argonne District, 
in which many American Divisions were taking part, and 
amongst them our sturdy fellow citizens from New York, 
the 77th Division, who had succeeded us at Baccarat and 
in the Chateau Thierry Sector. We expected that we would 
be called upon to relieve the 32nd Division which was fight- 
ing just in front of us. But today, October loth, came 
orders to proceed to the west along the river Aire for the 
relief of the ist Division. 


In the general operation which was shared in by all the 
Allied armies in France to turn the German retreat into a 
rout, the most difficult and most important task was as- 
signed to the Americans. The Belgians, British and French 
could only exercise a frontal pressure on the enemy except 
for a few local salients which might be created here and 
there. But if the American army could smash their re- 
sistance on the southeast end of the German lines, and 
particularly if it could break through so as to capture the 
military trunk line which ran through Sedan to their depot 
at Metz, large bodies of Germans farther to the west would 
be brought close to the point of surrender. Naturally, the 
German Commanders knew this as well as Marshal Foch 
or General Pershing and they massed their defenses at the 
point of greatest danger. To the civilian mind, when troops 
are advancing ten or fifteen kilometers a day and capturing 
prisoners and guns, they are heroes of tremendous battles. 
But soldiers know that in the tremendous battles an advance 
of two or three kilometers is a big gain, to be paid for at a 
great cost of human life. We had an example of the first 
kind at Saint Mihiel, which loomed large in the imagination 
of the folks at home, but which to the soldiers was a walk- 
over. The Argonne was no walkover during the first five 

The nature of the country made it easy to defend, hard 
to capture. It is a hilly country — and that always means 
plenty of woods. The hills, moreover, connect themselves 
up in a general east and west direction and the advance had 
to be made by conquering a series of heights. When we 



went into the fight the line-up of Divisions nearest to us 
were the 77th, on the extreme left, going up through the 
forest, the 82nd on the other side of the Aire, the ist, which 
we relieved, and on our right, the 32nd. Further east were 
other divisions extending up to the Meuse, while yet other 
bodies ^ of Americans were working to cross that river and 
fight their way up its eastern bank. 

In the sector on the east side of the Aire, which we now 
took over, the 35th Division had been first to go in. At 
great sacrifice it had captured successive villages and ridges, 
but had finally been repulsed on the last hill before reaching 
Exermont and had been forced to fall back. Then the old 
reliables of the ist Division, who had been our first troops 
to arrive in France and the first to engage with the enemy 
at Cantigny, were called upon to do their share. They did 
it, and more than their share. They captured the ridges 
up to Exermont and Fleville and Sommerance, swept the 
Germans oflF the Cote de Maldah and there established their 
lines at the price of half the infantry in the Division. 

Now it was our turn. If the others had a hard task, ours 
was certainly no easier, because it was given to us to break 
the final and long prepared line of German defenses, called 
the Kriemhilde Stellung. 

We marched to our new positions on October nth, our 
strength at the time being 53 of^cers and a little less than 
3,000 men. Regimental headquarters were set up at Exer- 
mont, the Supply Company being down the road at Apre- 
mont. The first day the support and reserve battalions were 
in a wide gully to the east, called Chaudron Farm. The 3rd 
battalion effected the relief on the front line. Major Reilley 
commanding. Lieutenant Heller, Adjutant, Company I un- 
der Captain Michael J. Walsh, who had insisted on giving 
up the Headquarters Company and taking a line Company 
so that he could take part himself in the fighting; Company 
K under Lieutenant Guignon ; Company L, Captain Given, 
Company M, Captain Rowley. In support was the ist Bat- 
talion now commanded by Major Kelly, Lieutenant O'Con- 


tior, Adjutant, Lieutenant Connelly being Intelligence Offi- 
cer. The commanders of A, B, C, and D, being Lieutenant 
\\ . Hutchinson, Lieutenant Clifford, Captain Bootz and 
Captain Buck. Second Battalion under Major Anderson, 
Lieutenant Fechheimer, Adjutant, with E, F, G and H 
under Captain Conners, Captain Marsh, Captain Stout and 
Lieutenant Ogle. 

As the companies marched up to take their place in line 
il stood on a rising ground in the bleak and open plain to 
perform my own duties in their regard, which for many of 
them would be the last time. The frequently recurring 
rows of rude crosses which marked the last resting places of 
many brave lads of the ist Division were an eloquent sermon 
on death ; so that no words of warning from me were needed 
and I was able to do my holy business in a matter of fact 
way which soldiers like better than being preached at. Gen- 
eral Lenihan is fond of quoting Private Terence Mulvaney's 
remark : *'What I like about the old church is that she's so 
remarkable regimental in her fittin's." 

In former days men massed together for battle; today 
they scatter. It is interesting to watch the deliberate disin- 
tegration of a Division as it approaches the front line. It 
breaks into brigades and into regiments for convenience in 
using the roads. Then the regiments are broken into bat- 
talions, usually, according to the stock phrase "echeloned in 
depth" that is, one on the line, one in support and one in re- 
serve. The battalion breaks up into companies as it gets 
nearer the front; and the companies, when they reach the 
point where they are likely to be under shell-fire, separate 
into platoons with considerable distance between them. In 
action men advance with generous intervals between. 

When they get close to the enemy the advance is made by 
frequent rushes, about a fourth of the men in a platoon run- 
ning forward, taking advantage of the ground, while their 
comrades keep the enemy's heads down by their fire, until all 
of them can get close. In its last stages the warfare of these 
small groups is more like the Indian fighting in which the 


first General of our Republic learned the profession of arms, 
than anything which the imagination of civilians pictures 
it. To take machine gun nests — I am not speaking of reg- 
ularly wired and entrenched positions which it is the business 
of artillery to reduce before the infantry essays them — it is 
often a matter of individual courage and strategy. Somi 
times the fire of a platoon can reduce the number of the gun- 
ners or make the less hardy of them keep their beads down 
so that the pieces cannot be properly handled; but often the 
resistance is overcome by a single sharp-shooter firing from 
the elbow of a tree, or by some daring fellow who works his 
way across hollows which are barely deep enough to protect 
him from fire, or up a gully or watercourse, until he is near 
enough to throw hand grenades. Then it is all over. 

Our supply company and band were stationed at the 
Ferme de TEsperance on the Aire River. Going north 
along the river road as far as Fleville one finds a road going 
to the right through a deep defile which leads to the village 
of Exermont about a mile and a half away. On the north 
and on the south the view is bounded by steep hills which 
have been captured by the ist Division. To the north a 
muddy trail winds around the base of hill 247 leading to a 
wide, rough, partly wooded plain. This was covered with 
the bodies of the brave soldiers of the ist Division, more 
thickly than I have seen anywhere else with the exception of 
the hill w^here lay our 3rd Battalion north of the Ourcq'. 
There were many German wooden shelters at the base of the 
hill to the right, with bodies of dead Germans, many of 
them killed in hand to hand conflict. 

Our 3rd Battalion took over the front line on the Cote de 
Maldah, a maze of woods and ravines. Companies M and 
I were on the twin knolls of the Cote, K and L in the 
woods behind. To their left were the Ohios at Sommer- 
ance, while the Alabamas and lowas held positions similar 
to our own on hills 263 and 269. Our 2nd Battalion was in 
a shrubby woods to the rear, and the ist Battalion was orig- 
inally held under protection of the hill just ouside of Exer- 


mont, in which town were the headquarters of the 165th and 
i66th and the Regimental Dressing Stations of the 165th 
and 167th. Our artillery, which had been in support of the 
32nd Division, rejoined us on October 13th, making a hard, 
forced march with animals that had been reduced in strength 
aiul numbers by our continuous warfare. Colonel Henry 
Reilly, a West Point graduate, and a man of great intelli- 
gence and force of character, was appointed to direct the 
Jlicrations of the artillery brigade, leaving Lieutenant Col- 
jncl Redden to take charge of his own regiment, the 149th 
I'ield Artillery. The artillery of the 1st division also re- 
ined to assist in the sector. 

[he German main line of defense — the Kriemhilde Stel- 
Viii;:^, was about three kilometers in front of our brigade but 
^ than two in front of the 84th Brigade. It was a well 
pared and strongely wired position consisting of three 
s of wires and trenches. The first rows of wire were 
ist high and as much as twenty feet wide, all bound 
ether in small squares by iron supports so that it was 
lost impossible for artillery to destroy it unless the whole 
and were beaten flat. Back of this were good trenches 
il out four feet deep with machine gun shelters carefully 
)rcpared. Behind this front line at thirty yards intervals 
;licy had two other lines with lower wire and shallower 
iiches. Starting from our left these trenches ran from 
t to east on our side of two small villages called St. 
irges and Landres et St. Georges. From in front of the 
icr village the wire turned in a southeasterly direction 
v-Nvards us, following the lowest slope of the Cote de Cha- 
:illon and embracing LaMusarde Ferme, thence swinging 
-ast again to take in the Tuilerie Ferme. The Cote de Cha- 
lillon was a high wooded knoll which commanded the ter- 
rain to west and south. 

The task of the 84th Brigade was to work their way 
:hrough the Bois de Romagne and capture the two 
farms and the Cote de Chatillon. Our brigade front was 
jf a different character, and with its own particular kind 


of difficulty. The terrain was the most nearly level section 
we had seen in this country, and was mostly open, though 
with irregular patches of woods. From the Cote de Maldah 
it sloped off towards the north to a small brook that ran 
in a general east to west direction through ground that 
was a bit swampier than the rest; and from there, rising 
gradually, up to the German wire. A good road with a 
bridge over the brook ran northeast and southwest between 
Sommerance and Landres et St. Georges. At the begin- 
ning it lay entirely in the Ohio sector but our advance to 
the north would bring us astride of it. 

Our attack had to be made 9ver open ground with the 
purpose of carrymg by direct assault wired entrenchments. 
It was the warfare of 191 6 and 191 7 over again, and 
everybody knows from the numerous British and French 
accounts of such action that it can be accomplished only by 
tremendous artillery preparation, and that even then gains 
must be made at a great loss of Infantry. But a glance at 
the maps, in which blue dotted lines represented the enemy 
wire, showed us that we had greater danger to fear than 
the resistance which would come from our direct front. 
The blue dots ran straight across the right of the Ohio front 
and all of ours, and then swung in a southerly direction for 
a kilometer or more. They prophesied eloquently to anyone 
who had the slightest knowledge of war that our main 
danger was to come from our right flank unless that hill 
could be taken first Donovan's desire was to advance until 
we would be on a level with the wire to our right, hold that 
line with a sufficient number of troops to guard against 
counter attack, and throw in our main strength on the left 
of the 84th Brigade, they striking from the south and we 
from the west until the Cote de Chatillon should be taken. 
Continuing the advance from there, we could take Landres 
et St. Georges from the east. The orders however were 
to attack, head on, with four regiments abreast. The 84th 
Brigade was given three hours start to fight their way 
through the southernmost German defences. It was cal- 


:ulated that they could get far enough forward during this 
ciine so that both brigades could keep advancing in even line. 

Preparations for the assault were made difficult by 

ather conditions. The sun never shone and a large part 
)i the time it rained steadily. It was difficult to observe 
the enemy lines or their troop movements from balloons, 
11 id the advantage of aeroplanes was theirs — not ours. The 
ibominable condition of the roads made it impossible to get 
.ufficient ammunition forward and our artillery was working 
under a great handicap. Facilities for communication with 
llic front line were poor throughout the whole action. The 
wire, strung along the wet ground, was all the time getting 
out of order; horses were few and runners had to make 
their way back through seas of mud, which also caused 
untold difficulty in getting forward food and ammunition. 

However, everything was planned as well as possible 
under the conditions. It was arranged to have tanks to 
help our men get through the wire. The gas and flame 
Engineers were also to render assistance, and Colonel John- 
son sent detachments of his Engineers (for whom I have 
supplied a motto from an old song : "Aisy wid the Shovel 
and Handy with the Gun") to go with the Infantry as wire- 
cutters, and to follow up to repair roads. 

During the two days in which these plans were being 
made the battle activity on both sides was conducted mainly 
by the artillery. Company G had barely occupied its posi- 
tion in the woods on the evening of October nth, when it 
was subjected to a heavy shelling, with the loss of M. Black 
[killed and Sergeant Edward McNamara, Corporal Framan, 
Kessler, Dan McSherry and William McManus wounded. 
Young Jim Gordon of Company E was running for a litter 
to carry off the wounded when a fragment from a gas shell 
struck him in the chest and killed him instantly. Arthur 
Brown of Company I was killed on the Cote de Maldah. 
Early on the morning of the 12th the men of Company C 
who were lying along the southern bases of the hill not far 
from a battery of artillery which the enemy were trying to 


get, had some shells dropped amongst them and H. Harb- 
ison, L. Jones and Frank Foley were killed and Gorman 
and others wounded. 

Lieutenant Colonel Donovan was assigned by Colonel 
Mitchell to have general charge of the situation at the front 
while he with Captain Merle-Smith as operations officer and 
Captain Meaney as Adjutant, handled it from the P. C. in 
Exermont. Lieutenant Lawrence Irving, in charge of the 
Intelligence Section, was at the observation post. 

Our artillery preparations for the assault were begun at 
3 130 on the morning of October 14th. Our brigade, in touch 
with the 82nd Division on our left, jumped off at 8 130 in 
the same morning. In our regiment Companies I and M 
were in advance, with K and L in immediate support, a com- 
pany of the Wisconsin Machine Gunners being with them 
and our 2nd Battalion supplying details for carrying ammu- 
nition, etc. The front wave had not gotten well started 
before it was evident that the enemy were expecting an at- 
tack, and from the beginning our men went forward through 
steady shell fire which increased as their purpose became 
more clearly manifested. Two enemy aeroplanes flew along 
the lines of our Division discharging machine guns and no 
doubt keeping their own artillery posted on the results of 
their fire. But, in spite of losses, our men kept going for- 
ward, stimulated by the encouragement of Major Reilley 
and his Company Commanders Walsh, Guignon, Given and 
Rowley. They had about two miles to go before reaching 
the enemy's wire. 

Captain Rowley with Company M was to the left along- 
side of the Ohios and Captain Michael Walsh to the right, i 
and at the beginning in touch with the Alabamas, a touch i 
which was soon lost, as the latter regiment came to close 
grips with the enemy at a point further south than our point . 
of attack, and our companies pushing northward found iti 
difficult to maintain liaison with them. The amount of time 
assigned to the 84th Brigade to capture Hill 288, the Tuilerie 
Farm, and the defenses at the base of the Cote de Chatillon 


IS not sufficient for the magnitude of the task that was 
en them to accompHsh. By noon their Hne had passed 

ill 288 and was close to the enemy outposts, but at that 
lime our Brigade was already at their Second Objective. 
I' rom the outset the most destructive fire we had to undergo 
came from machine guns firing from this Cote to our right 
and enfilading our whole line; and the further forward we 
got the more destructive it became. By i o'clock half of the 
third battalion had been killed or wounded. Colonel Dono- 
van, with Lieutenants Wheatley and Betty, and Major 
Kcilley with Lieutenant Heller and Sergeant Courtney, were 
all over the field sustaining the spirits of the men. 

There is no tougher experience than that of advancing 
o\ cr a considerable distance under fire. The trouble is that 
tlic men are being shot down by an enemy whom they cannot 
see. They reply with their rifles and machine guns, but 
have only the vaguest hope that they are accomplishing any- 
thing more than disconcerting their opponents. When a 
soldier gets where he can see the foe he develops a sort of 
hunter's exhilaration. His blood warms up and he actually 
forgets that the other fellow is shooting at him. Advanc- 
iiij^' in the open against trenches he has only the sensations 
oi the hunted. Heavy fire begins to rain around them, men 
are hit, the line drops, each man in whatever shelter he 
can find. Then the order is given to rise and go forward 
again; spurts of dust are kicked up, the first three or four 
men to advance walk into the line of bullets and go down 
before they have gone ten feet. And the others who have 
seen them fall must go straight ahead and take that same 
deadly chance, never knowing when they themselves will 
stop a German missile. It takes undaunted leadership and 
tremendous courage to keep going forward under such con- 

That leadership the men possessed in their battalion com- 
mander and those under him. Captain Rowley, a quiet, de- 
termined man, kept M. Company moving forward until he 
was knocked senseless by a tree which was blown down 


upon him through the explosion of a shell. His place was 
taken by Lieutenant Collier, who was shortly afterwards 
also wounded, and Lieutenant Don Elliott found himself in 
command. Company I was led by Captain Mike Walsh un- 
til he received a long tearing wound through the arm. He 
left his Company under command of Lieutenant Roderick 
Hutchinson, who led the company until he too was 
wounded, and started back alone to the Dressing-Station 
under the slope of the hill, to have his wound bandaged up. 
On his way back to the line he was hit once more and in- 
stantly killed. Nobody knew that he was killed until his 
body was discovered by Edward Healy, who buried him; 
and was shortly afterwards killed himself. It was well for 
his Company that they did not know the misfortune they 
had sustained because no loss in our whole campaign was 
more deeply felt than that of this rugged, whole-souled sol- 
dier and leader of men. Companies L and K, under Captain | 
Given and Lieutenant Guignon, were also having theirj 
troubles, especially Company K under the daring leadership 
of its youthful commander. In all of the companies there 
was great loss amongst our old time non-coms as they 
moved around looking after the men instead of taking shel- 
ter with them. 

But the outstanding figure in the mind of every officer 
and man was Lieutenant Colonel William J. Donovan. 
Donovan is one of the few men I know who really enjoys a 
battle. He goes into it in exactly the frame of mind that 
he had as a college man when he marched out on the grid- 
iron before a football game, and his one thought through- 
out is to push his way through. "Cool" is the word the 
men use of him and "Cool" is their highest epithet of praise 
for a man of daring, resolution and indifference to danger. 
He moved out from the Cote de Maldah at the beginning 
of the attack with his headquarters group, just behind the 
supporting companies — his proper place, though he had no 
intention of remaining there if he could do more efficient 
work further forward. He had prepared himself for the 


1 k he had determined on in a characteristic way. In- 
. :id of taking off all signs of rank, as officers are sup» 
cd to do to avoid being made a mark for sharpshooters, 
ic had donned a Sam Brown belt with double shoulder 
straps, so that none of his men could miss knowing who he 
vvas; that the enemy also would pick him out was to him a 
jTiatter of serene indifference. As soon as the advance began 
I :o slow up under the heavy losses, he passed to the front line 
:)f the leading elements. The motto of the Donovan clan 
iTiust be ''Come on." It was "Come on, fellows, it's better 
Jihead than it is here," or "Come on, we'll have them on the 
•nil before long," or with his arm across the shoulder of 
;ome poor chap who looked worried, "Come on, old sport, 
lobody in this Regiment was ever afraid." He would stand 
3ut in front of the men lying in shell holes into which he had 
ordered them, and read his map unconcernedly with the 
■Machine-gun bullets kicking up spurts of dust around his 
l; and would turn smilingly, "Come on now, men, they 
t hit me and they won't hit you." It was more like a 
il War picture than anything we have seen in this fight- 
to watch the line of troops rushing forward led by their 

iut their task was more than any battalion could per- 
iii. The conditions on the right made it impossible to 
each the wire in front with strength enough to break 
hrough it. The 84th Brigade was doing heroic work, but 
t was to take two days more of tremendously hard fighting 
or them before the Cote de Chatillon could be reduced. 
The nature of the fighting turned their front obliquely in 
I northeast direction, while our Brigade was advancing due 
. lorth. Major Norris of the Alabamas filled in the gap be- 
ween our right and their left during the afternoon, thus in- 
uring against an attack from the Germans which might 
)reak through our line. Their brigade captured Hill 288 
hat day but was held up in front of the Tuilerie Farm. It 
vas not until the evening of the i6th and by continuous and 
lesperate fighting that our gallant brothers of the 84th Bri- 


gade pounded their way to the crest of the Cote de Chatil- 

In the afternoon, after six hours of battle, Donovan re- 
ported that the 3rd BattaHon, which had gotten up to th( 
slopes under the German wire, was too badly shot up to bd 
able to push through. He requested an artillery barrage oi 
an hour and a half to keep the Germans distracted while h( 
withdrew the 3rd Battalion carrying their wounded, througt 
the 1st Battalion under Major Kelly, who would take their 
place. At dusk Kelly made his advance by infiltration 
Company C on the left. Company D on the right. The mer 
stole forward, losing heavily but taking advantage of ever} 
inequality in the surface of the ground. Towards the right 
of our position a rough wagon road run up through a draw 
between two gradual slopes and just before it reached the 
main road between Sommerance and Landres it passed 
through a deep cut, in some places eight feet deep, part oi 
which was included in the enemy's wire defenses. 

The battalion fought its way right up to the enemy's wire 
only to find it an impassable barrier. Our artillery fire had; 
not made a break in it anywhere, as for lack of aeroplane«| 
to register the effects of their work they had been shooting' 
entirely by the map. Groups of our lads dashed up to thCj 
wire only to be shot down to the last man. Some rarJ 
through a passage made for the roadway, the only possibk; 
method of getting through, but this of course was abso-| 
lutely covered by the German guns, and every man thalj 
went through it was shot and, if not killed outright, taken* 
prisoner. Soldiers of ours and of the Engineers with wire-| 
cutting tools lay on their faces working madly to cut through i 
the strands, while riflemen and grenadiers alongside of them! 
tried to beat down the resistance. But they were in a per-, 
feet hail of bullets from front and flank, and every lastj 
man was killed or wounded. Further back was a concen-l 
tration of artillery fire, of bursting shells and groans and' 
death, that made the advance of the support platoons a veri-t 
table hell. 


The attackers finally fell back a short distance to the 
deep cut in the road. Our second attempt to break through 
had failed. Major Kelly with Lieutenant Connelly and 
parts of companies A and C held this place as a vantage 
point to make a third attempt in the morning. Bootz was 
in charge on the left of the main road. About one hundred 
and fifty yards south of the wire the ground sloped, and on 
|this reverse slope Colonel Donovan established his P. C, 
with Lieutenant Betty as his adjutant, Wheatley having been 
wounded. With him also were detachments from the Head- 
quarters and Machine Gun Companies under Lieutenant 
Devine and Sergeants Sheahan, Heins, Leo Mullin, Doherty 
and Gillespie. During the night, accompanied by Sergeant 
Major Bernard White, the Colonel himself scouted up to the 
enemy wire to examine the conditions for the next days' at- 
tack. Tanks were promised to roll through the wire, shoot 
up the machine gim nests and make a passage for the infan- 
try. Morning came but no tanks in sight. Lieutenant Grose 
and Boberg and Brosnan of Brigade Headquarters were 
scouring the roads in search of them. It took two hours 
to get a message back, as the telephone was out. The ar- 
tillery barrage ran its appointed course and still no tanks. 
Kelly once more made his attack, under conditions that he 
soon discovered to be impossible for success. Every man 
that reached the wire was hit, and losses were heavy in his 
elements further back. 

About half an hour after the advance began a rifle bullet 
struck Colonel Donovan in the leg, going through the bone 
and rendering him helpless. He would have ordered any- 
body else to be evacuated, but he refused to allow himself 
to be removed. In answer to the protests of his Adjutant 
he swore he would stay there and see the thing through. So 
he lay in his shell-hole and continued to direct the battle. 
It was bound to be a one-sided one until the tanks should 
come up. Our men in the sunken road were being shelled 
by trench mortars which dropped their shells into the nar- 
row cutting, spreading disaster. Our elements in the more 


open ground to the rear were under continuous shell fire as 
the enemy artillery had the exact ranges. 

One of the creepiest feelings in war is that of being boxed 
in by artillery fire. A shell lands to the right of a group 
of men; no harm in that — all safe. Then one lands to the 
left, to front, or rear, and the next is closer in between them. 
Then everybody knows what is happening. That square is 
in for a shelling until nothing living inside it will escape 
except by miracle. This was the experience of many a group 
that morning, and Colonel Donovan and his headquarters 
men had to undergo it to the utmost. There always has to 
be a good deal of motion around a Post of Command, so this 
slope was made a special target. Shells fell all over it, and 
men were blown out of their holes by direct hits. Thus per- 
ished Patrick Connors of Company H and Color Sergeant 
WilHam Sheahan, one of the finest and bravest of men. 
Donovan (and Major Anderson, who had come up and was 
lying in the same hole with him) escaped without further 
injury. Messages which had to be carried the short dis- 
tance between his shell-hole and where Kelly was were sent 
with difficulty, many runners being killed or wounded. They 
had no direct connection with the rear. It was a lone fightJ 
but both Donovan and Kelly were of the same mind, not! 
to desist from the attack so long as any chance remained oi' 
putting it through. 

Finally the tanks appeared coming up the road fronii 
Sommerance. Everybody was elated. At last there was a 
chance to get through that wire and mop up those infernal 
machine gun nests. But the tanks were under artillery fire, 
some of which was evidently doing damage to them, and 
with disappointment and disgust the Infantry saw them 
pause, turn about and rumble down the road to the rear. 
About 10:30 Captain Buck, who had been wounded and 
was on his way to the Dressing Station, brought word to 
Donovan that a counter-attack was evidently in prepara- 
tion. Donovan's party urged him to let them carry him 
back, but he swore at them, and ordered them to bring up 


nore machine guns and the Stokes Mortars, under Lieuten- 
mt O'Donohue and Sergeant Fitzsimmons. These were 
lisposed in an advantageous position, which means a dan- 
gerous one, and the counter-attack was smothered in its 
By II :oo o'clock Donovan had decided that the ist Bat- 
' nn had too many losses to make it possible for them to 
/ through. He told Anderson, who was with him, to 
it urn and bring forward his battalion so that Kelly's men 
[ud their wounded could pass through. 

Kelly, whose fighting blood was up, at first refused to re- 
ire, demanding written orders from his chief before he 
nld give up his claim on the post of danger and glory, 
novan gave the orders and then permitted himself to 
arried in, leaving the situation in the very capable hands 
)i Major Anderson. 

1 his relief was begun about noon with the aid of a heavy 

Kirrage from our artillery, of which nobody in the line 

•w the exact reason. The reason was that Brigade had 

ered another attack which was originally scheduled for 

15. Merle-Smith had protested that we had only one 

lalion left and that it was unwise to use up our last ef- 

lives. The only result was that the barrage was ex- 

vled until noon, on Colonel Mitchell's report that it 

i\ ' )uld be impossible to get the orders forward to the front 

)y II :i5. He sent the order in three different directions, 

mi none of his messages arrived until the barrage which 

^\ as to cover the attack had passed over and the relief of 

he 1st battalion had already begun. 

The situation was a stalemate. We had made an ad- 
v'cince of three kilometers under desperate conditions, but 
in spite of our losses and sacrifices we had failed to take 
our final objective. Well, success is not always the reward 
of courage. There is no military organization, no matter 
how famous, that has not its record of failures. In this 
war every regiment and division in the older annies has 
known times when it was impossible for them to do all 


that it was hoped they might be able to accompHsh, and 
most especially when they were called upon to capture well 
defended trench positions. 

Indeed, since 191 5, no commanders in the older armies 
would dream of opposing to strongly wired and entrenched 
positions the naked breasts of their infantry. They take 
care that the wire, or part of it at least, is knocked down 
by artillery or laid flat by tanks before they ask unprotect- 
ed riflemen to try conclusions with its defenders. When 
the wire is deep, and still intact, and strongly defended, 
the infantry can do little but hang their heroic bodies on it. 

But we shall not dwell on this. The most glorious day 
in the history of our regiment in the Civil War was Fred- 
ericksburg, where the Old 69th in the Irish Brigade failed 
to capture the impregnable position on Marye's Heights, 
though their dead with the green sprigs in their caps lay 
in rows before it. Landres et St. Georges is our Freder- 
icksburg and the Kriemhilde Stellung our Marye's Heights. 

Whatever the mature judgment of history may decide 
about it, the opinion of our Corps Commander, General 
Summerall, was the one that counted most. He had been 
in command of the ist Division when it made its attack in 
this same area, and was prom.oted after the battle to the 
duty of commanding the corps into which we moved. On 
the evening of the 15th he came to our brigade and made 
a visit to our P. C. in Exermont to demand why our final 
objective had not been taken. He was not well handled, 
Colonel Mitchell is a good soldier, and one of the finest 
men in the world, but he is entirely too modest to say a 
strong word in his own defense. Everybody is familiar 
with the kind of man who, in spite of the merits of his 
case, makes a poor figure on the witness stand. Donovan, 
who is an able lawyer and likes the give and take of battle, 
verbal or otherwise, would have sized up the Corps Com- 
mander's mood and would have been planning a new at- 
tack with him after the first ten minutes. Captain Merle- 
Smith stated the facts of the case — the enfilading fire from 


he Cote de Chatillon, the unbroken wire in our front, the 
!(Iequacy of artillery against it on account of lack of air 
\ice to register their fire, the failure of the tanks and 
lie extent of our losses. General Summerall was in no 
}v lod for argument. He wanted results, no matter how 
nany men were killed, and he went away more dissatisfied 
lian he had come. 

As a result, by his orders the Division Commander re- 

icved General Lenihan, Colonel Mitchell and also Captain 

Merle-Smith and Lieutenant Betty. As a matter of fact, a 

{(■w days later when the ill humor had cooled down, Merle- 

^iiiith was sent back to us in command of a battalion and 

I ty also returned. When General Lenihan submitted his 

icment of the actions of his brigade (supplemented by 

sages and maps) to the Army commander, General 

gett, th^ latter assured him that he would name him to 

ill the first vacancy in a combat Brigade on the fighting 

line. This happened to be in the 77th Division, and two 

w ecks later I met him at St. Juvin, still in line and going 


I do not wish to adopt too critical a tone with regard to 
the action of the Corps Commander. He is the military 
;ierior, and his judgment must be accepted even if it is 
V. ; ong. Moreover, the loss of rank or position by officers 
weighs nothing with me in comparison with the two big fac- 
tors : the proper handling of the men under them ; and vic- 
l( ry. In the heat of action every commanding general has 
L > make rapid decisions. General Summerall came to one of 
ilicse decisions in our regard, and we must abide by it. 

But speaking as an historian, I think that his decision was 
wrong. It was a question of whether our Colonel was a man 
to get out of his regiment all that it was capable of. No 
person who knows him could ever accuse Harry D. Mitchell 
of losing his nerve in a battle. He liked a fight. He would 
have been happier out on the line as Lieutenant Colonel 
than back in his P. C, but he knew that there was nobody 
who could handle an attack and put courage and dash into 


it better than Colonel Donovan, and that any body of 
troops, even less experienced and willing than our own, 
would fight to the last under such leadership. Colonel 
Mitchell's spirit was equally resolute and his orders cri 
and strong. The whole regiment was devoted to him, ai 
anxious to do their very best under his command. Indec 
amongst the older men, there was never any doubt abo 
our ultimate success. It had taken five days to reduce t^ 
German resistance at the Ourcq, but we did it. With mo 
help from artillery and tanks, they said, we can make 
yet. The worst blow to our morale that we «ver receive 
was inflicted by the order relieving our Colonel. 

The days following were anxious and gloomy ones f 
us, and our spirits were kept up by the unchanged dry h: 
mor of the man we were sorry to lose. When he was g 
ing, I said, to relieve the tension: "Now you are leavii 
us just when I had you running fine and I'll have the j> 
of breaking in another new Commanding Officer." *'F 
ther," he said, ''this continuous change of Commando 
would break up any other regiment I ever knew, but this 
old regiment can keep itself going on, no matter who com- 
mands it. It would get along on spirit and unity if it 
never had a Commanding Officer." 

Our new commander was Lieutenant Colonel Charles V 
Dravo, who had been Division Machine Gun Officer. .- 
number of us have known him for a considerable time 
and like him already, all the more because his first action 
was a report on conditions in the regiment which was aimed 
at the restoration of Colonel Mitchell to his command. 

We had 53 officers going in at the Argonne and of the 
five were killed and fifteen wounded. Of those killed, aft 
Captain Michael Walsh, the greatest sense of loss was fi i 
at the death of Lieutenant Andrew Ellett of Company E, aj 
soldier of unlimited courage. We did not know until long 
afterwards that Lieutenant Henry Davis, an officer of the 
same type, who had been wounded by shell fire on October 


h, died in Hospital. Two young officers who were com- 
atively newcomers in the Regiment, but who had made 
ny friends, Lieutenants WiUiam O'Connor and John P. 
;-, were killed on the field. 

Headquarters Company lost, beside Color Sergeant 
Sheahan, Sergeant Edward J. Hussey, with Gustave 
Cosgrove and Charles Schulmerick and James Gaun- 
thier, died of wounds. 

Company A lost Sergeants James P. Duff and Fred. 
Stenson ; Corporals Sidney H. Clark, Bernard Mc- 
Owen, John Nallin, and Peter Barbee, David Bignell, 
William Cook, Jeremiah Dineen, Silas Donegan, Ray- 
mond Fitzpatrick, Charles Freeman, Frank Gilday, 
Lester Hess, Oscar Iverson, Edward Kelly, Lafayette 
Sharp, A. B. Harrell, William Smith, William Brass, 
Leo Tully, Charles Hallberg and Earl Wilder. 

Company B lost Sergeants James Donnelly and 
John J. Mahoney; Corporal Thomas F. Winters; and 
Philip Benoit, Joseph Cole, Thomas J. Cronin, David 
Dempsey, Thomas Doyle, Dewey Houck, Jesse John- 
son, Benjamin Robert, Ed Zeiss, Robert Wallack. 

Company C lost Sergeant Edward Kearin; Corpo- 
rals James Farnan, Arthur Potter, Daniel J. Slat- 
tery; and Avery Bridges, James Cody, Lloyd Harris, 
Clinton Hart, Martin Haugse, W. P. Hensel, Harold 
J. Hogan, Samuel Key, Daniel Medler, James Mur- 
nane, J. P. Myers, Charles Nabors, George O'Neill, 
Anthony Palumbo, William Fountain, J. H. Reneker, 
Edward Sheridan, Francis Conway and Thomas D. 

Company D lost Corporals John J. Haggerty, Harry 
Adkins, William Boetger, Walter Crisp, Lacy Castor, 
J. W. McPherson, S. Scardino, W. Schmelick; and 
C. R. Kerl, William Cundiff, Frank Fall, George Sala- 
ducha, R. Robbins, Lawrence P. Mahoney, Peter J. 
Wollner, James W. Hasting, Fred Smith, John Mc- 


Namara, Gordon Wynne, Charles Evers, James But- 
ler, Edward Clement, Frank F. De Muth and Richard 

Company E lost Corporals William Dougherty, Wil- 
liam Bechtold, Matthew Colgan, and George Failing; 
and Joseph Carroll, Frederick Gluck, Kennedy Hardy, 
Fred Conway and John Naughton. 

Company F lost Arthur Armes, William M. Bink- 
ley, Charles Park, Fred Riddles, Joseph Woodlief, 
Joseph Elzear, Charles Ash. 

Company G lost Daniel McSherry, Clarence Leon- 
ard, Charles Jacobs, Marvin Black, John Hemmer, 
Archie Lilies, William McManus. 

Company H lost Corporal Clifford Wiltshire, Ar- 
thur N. Frank, Roger Folson, Clinton Bushey, J. Mos- 
colo, Patrick Connors and heroic Sergeant John J. 

Company I lost Sergeants Patrick Collins and Wil- 
liam Harrison; Corporals Allen Crowe and Charles 
Stone; and A. G. Brown, Robert Cousens, Harry Gill, 
Edward F. Healy, Earnest Keith, Albert Mortenson, 
James Nealon, Gilbert Neely, George A. Peterson, 
Warren Regan, Thomas Stokey, Earl Thayer, Eleanor 
Yow, James Brown, Kenneth Trickett. 

Company K lost Sergeants John J. Gavaghan and 
John J. Butler; Corporals Henry D. Hawxhurst and 
Thomas Madden; and N. Farhout, John P. Quinlan, 
James C. Wright, Joseph Barzare, John L. Sullivan, 
Francis Gioio, Daniel Buckley, Leonard Giarusso, An- 
drew Goeres, Claude Best, George Pennington. 

Company L lost Corporal Edward Bloom am 
Joseph Metcalf, Fred Parr, Homer C. Coin, John Hj 
Jumper, E. Epperly, John P. Ryan. 

Company M lost Sergeant Peter Cooney; Corporali 
Charles T. Elson, Charles J. Brennan and William Hi 
Crunden; and John T. Byrnes, Emmett DavidsonJ 


Frank Manning, H. F. Brumley, Patrick J. O'Neill, 
Charles Blagg, Joseph McAndrews. 

Machine Gun Company lost Harry A. Bearing, Fred 
Martin, John A. Claire, Thomas McCabe, Thomas 
Norton, Leonard Hansen and John McKay. 

Supply Company lost Giuseppe Mastromarino. 

Nobody wants to talk very much about the recent battle. 
It was a nightmare that one does not care to recall. Indi- 
vidual acts do not stand out in actions of this kind. It is 
a case of everybody going ahead and taking the punish- 
ment. Everybody who stood up under it and kept carry- 
ing on deserves the laurel crown. Some men, however, 
stand out in more striking way than their companions, 
either through natural coolness and willingness to take 
added risks or by their acceptance of a position of command 
that the chances of battle offered them. Prominent amongst 
these is Sergeant Michael Fitzpatrick of Company L, whose 
brother Cornelius was killed at the Ourcq, and who took 
charge of a platoon and kept it going with great spirit 
after First Sergeant Wittlinger was wounded. The veteran 
First Sergeant of Company K, Tim Sullivan, was also 
wounded in this fight, and another of the Sullivans, John 
L., was killed. Company K also lost a fine character in 
Sergeant Gavaghan, a stalwart, heroic, innocent-minded 
young Irishman. 

When Colonel Donovan called for the Stokes Mortars to 
repel the threatened counter-attack on the morning of the 
15th, the pieces were set up under the slight protection of 
the sloping ground, but from this point the gunners could 
not observe the accuracy of their own fire. So Sergeant 
Fitzsimmons ran forward to the top of the slope, making 
himself an easy cockshot for the German gunners while he 
signalled to his own men his corrections on their aim. He 
escaped himself by a miracle and had the satisfaction of 
seeing the shells dropping right amongst the Germans who 


were gathering for the attack, and doing dreadful execu- 

The battalion runners received great praise from every- 
body, as they had to take untold risks in moving fronj: 
place to place without shelter. Ammunition carriers alsc 
had a dangerous task, those from Company H suffering 
severe losses. Amongst those killed were Corporal Clifford 
Wiltshire, a nice quiet boy who was married to Sergeant 
Winthrop's sister; and Clinton Bushey, who once before 
was reported dead when out on the digging detail during 
the bombardment of July 15th. The sergeants we lost were 
all good men. Hussey was a clean-cut young athlete ; Duff 
and Stenson of Company A were both very dependable 
men, as were also Sidney Clark, who did great work at the 
Ourcq, and Bernard McOwen, who had the Croix de 
Guerre. Donnelly and Mahoney of B had worked their 
way up from being privates by character and merit; and 
Tom Winters was also a good man. Eddie Kearin of C 
was one of the best liked youths in the regiment and James 
Farnan, a solid Irishman; Dougherty, Colgan, Bechtold 
and John Naughton of E have figured before and in these 
annals; also Fred Gluck, heroic litter-bearer. Company I 
was hard hit in the loss of Patrick Collins and Wilhami 
Harrison. Charlie Stone's mother v/as the last person I 
shook hands with before our train left Camp Mills for the 
transport. Robert Cousens was killed while looking after 
his brother who had been wounded. Sergeant Peter Coo- 
ney of M Company was out with the regiment in '98 and 
the three corporals, Elson, Brennan, and Crunden, were 
fine types of soldiers. Harry Dearing, John Claire, John 
McKay and the others from the Machine Gun Company- 
will be sorely missed by their fellows. 

With Colonel Donovan on the slope on October 15th 
were Sergeants of Headquarters Company and the Ma- 
chine Gun Company. The Colonel told me later that the 
shell which blew Sergeant Sheahan heavenward took the 
legs off another Irish soldier who was with him. This I 


knew was Patrick Connors. Another Irishman jumped 
from a neighboring shell-hole, picked up the wounded man 
md kissed him, saying: *'Me poor fellow, me poor fel- 
low." He put tourniquets on the stumps and then, unaided, 
started down the dangerous slope carrying him to the rear. 

Ilespie and Doherty tell me that this deed was performed 
by Corporal John Patrick Furey of Company H, who was 
in charge of the ammunition carriers for the machine guns. 
1 urey had been wounded already himself, and the sergeants 
wanted him to go to the rear, but he refused, as so much 
depended on keeping our machine guns fed. When he was 
carrying Connors back they shouted to him to get in an 
ambulance when he got there; but later in the morning 
I\irey reappeared alongside them after his two-mile jour- 
ney in each direction; and this in spite of the fact that the 
strain of carrying his burden had reopened another wound 
that he got at the Ourcq. It was an exhibition of tender- 
heartedness and sheer courage that honors humanity. 

Liaison men have to take untold risks in action of this 
kind. Of Major Kelly's group in the sunken road nearly 
all were killed or wounded. Young Eddie Kelly (killed), 
Cody (killed). White (a hero in every battle), Liebowitz 
(wounded), and Matty Rice (often mentioned in these 
annals) worked their way from Kelly to Bootz or from 
Kelly to Donovan, When they were gone Corporal Thomas 
O' Kelly offered to deliver messages, but the Major wished 
to keep him by his side as a valuable man in combat. "Send 
me, Major," insisted Tom, "I'll carry it through, and if I 
don't come back, you'll know I'm dead." He got it through 
alright, though wounded. He wanted to go back with a 
message, but Colonel Donovan ordered him to go back to 
the Dressing-Station. Every last man amongst these men 
deserves a citation for bravery. 

In this battle one of the tasks which required the great- 
est courage was that of getting back the wounded when 
the retirement from the wire of the first battalion was or- 
dered. Their rescuers had to abandon their pits and ad- 


vance in full view of the enemy in their work of succor. 
The men who stood out in accomplishing this dangerous 
duty were in Company A: First Sergeant Thomas Swee^ 
ney and Sergeant John H. Dennelly; In Company C, First 
Sergeant Thomas P. O'Hagan, Sergeant Joseph Burns and 
Corporal Archie Reilly. Also Mike Donaldson, of Com- 
pany I, who volunteered for this service and carried in man 
after man under heavy fire. Two of the liaison men from 
A Company, Matthew J. Kane and Martin Gill, as also John 
Hammond and Fred Craven of Company C, are also highlj 
recommended for the cheerful and efficient manner in whicli 
they performed their perilous job. 

Company M is very proud of its youngest corporal, little 
Jimmy Winestock, the mildest looking and most unassum- 
ing youth in the regiment. When troops advance undej 
fire, there are always some who get strayed from their 
command, especially when their platoon leaders have been 
hit. Jimmy picked up all these stragglers from their com- 
panies, formed them into a detachment, issued his com- 
mands as if he were a major at least, and led them forwarc 
into the thick of action. 

Major Lawrence very early in the battle had establishec 
his regimental dressing station as near to the front line a^ 
an ambulance could possibly go. There was absolutely nc 
protection where he was, and his group which included 
Chaplain Holmes and the *'Y" Athletic Director, Mr. Jew 
ett, were exposed to danger from shells at all times. Father 
Hanley stuck as usual to his beloved Third Battalion and 
was out further living in a hole in the side of a hill, withl 
Doctors Kilcourse, Martin, Mitchell, Cowett and our dental 
officers Bamford and Landrigan, who always rendered good 
work in battle. 

When they were carrying Donovan in I met him at Law- 
rence's station. He looked up from the stretcher and said 
to me smilingly, "Father, you're a disappointed man. You 
expected to have the pleasure of burying me over here." 
*T certainly did, Bill, and you are a lucky dog to get off 


with nothing more than you've got." He was in great pain 
after his five hours lying with that leg in the shell-hole, 
but it had not affected his high spirits and good humor. 
He was still of opinion that the regiment could get through 
the wire, with proper artillery preparation and coordination 
of infantry forces. 

On October 12th I was in Jim Mangan's little dugout at 
Exermont with his Lieutenants Joe McNamara, McCarthy 
and Flynn when in walked Dennis O'Shea, formerly our 
color sergeant, and now a Lieutenant in the ist Division. 
I Accompanying him was Father Terence King, a Jesuit 
Chaplain. They had been detailed for the task of burying 
their regimental dead. It w^as a joyous meeting, but they 
had one thing to tell that made me sad. Father Colman 
O'Flaherty had been killed by shell fire while attending to 
the wounded. I had never met him, but when we were 
alongside of the ist after Saint Mihiel I met a large num- 
ber of officers and men, all of whom spoke of him with 
affectionate admiration. An Irishman, well read, brilliant 
and witty in conversation, independent in the expression of 
his opinions ; sometimes irritatng at first encounter by rea- 
son of his sallies, but always sure in the long run to be ad- 
mired for his robust and attractive personality. 

I got this story with no names mentioned and was too 
discreet to ask for them. A patrol was out for the purpose 
of getting in touch with the enemy. As they were ascend- 
ing the reverse slope of the hill a young officer who was 
with two or three men in advance came running back, 
stooping low and calling breathlessly to the Lieutenant in 
command, 'The Germans! The Germans! The Germans 
are there." Nobody thought him afraid but his tone of 
excitement was certainly bad for morale. There was a sud- 
den halt and a bad moment, but the situation was saved 
when a New York voice in a gruff whisper was heard, 
"Well, what the hell does that guy think we are out here 
looking for? — Voilets?" If eloquence is the power to say 
things that will produce the desired effect on one's hearers, 


neither Demosthenes nor Dan O'Connell himself ever madt 
a better speech. 

We were very short of officers during the Argonne fight 
and, since advancing under shell fire necessitates a deliber- 
ate scattering of men, a great deal depends upon the effi- 
ciency of our non-coms, especially the sergeants. The re- 
sult of their activity was that an extraordinary number 
of them were wounded. I came on Sergeants Tom O'Mal- 
ley and Jim O'Brien of Company D, both wounded severeh 
and bound for the rear. "Tom," I said, ''what did you| 
want to get yourself hit for? We're sho'rt of officers as 
is, and it's only men like you that can put this thing 
through." "Well, Father," says Tom, smilingly apologetic, 
"you see it's like this: a sergeant stands an awful fine 
chance of gettin' hit as things are goin' now. We got a 
lot of new min that he's got to take care of to see that they 
don't get kilt; and whin the line moves forward, there's 
some of thim nades a bit of coaxin'." 

I have gathered from my record a list not only of officers, 
but also of non-coms wounded in this battle, because they 
deserve to be commemorated as men who have fought 
throughout the war, men who, if they have not been in 
every one of our battles, have a wound stripe to show the 
reason for their absence, and who have gained their stripes 
of office by good soldiering in camp and in the field. 

Colonel William J. Donovan; Captains, Oscar L. Buck, 
Edmond J. Connelly, John J. Clifford, John F. Rowley; 
First Lieutenants, James Collier, Paul D. Surber, Roderick 
J. Hutchinson; Second Lieutenants, Joseph P. Katsch, 
Charles D. Huesler, Clarence Johnson, Samuel S. Swift, 
Lester M. Greff, Henry W. Davis (Deceased), Arthur N. 
Hallquist, John J. Williams. 

Company A, Sergeants Purtell, Armstrong, Sweeney; 
Corporals Gladd, Roberts, Newton, Thynne, Rice, Wylie. 

Company B, Sergeants Thornton, Mulholland, Meniccoci, 
Graham, Gilbert, Whalen, Coyne; Corporals Quigley, 


>raay, o^^^^^l^, Van deWerken, Longo, Lofare, Hayes, 

Italey, Lehman, Neary. 

ompany C, Sergeants James Burns, Hillig, Hennessey, 
',^ht, McNiff; Corporals, James Kelly, Hannigan, Ly- 
;, Minogue, Munz, O'Kelly, Osberg, Quinn, Stratico, 
he, Boyle. 

ompany D, Sergeants Crotty, O'Malley, Moran, Shea- 
, McDonough, Tracey, Morton; Corporals Dale, Plant, 

Walton Smith, Murray, O'Dowd, Lynch, O'Brien, DeVoe, 

^crry O'Connor, Bambrick, McAuliffe, Edward B. Smith, 

vcilly, Harkins, Tuers, Brady, Thompson, O'Connell. 
C^jmpany E, Corporals Corbett, Maloney, Geary. 
( ompany F, Corporal Patrick Frawley. 
ompany G, Sergeants McNamara, William Farrell, 
OS Murray; Corporals, Framan, Allen, Christy, 
ompany H, Sergeant Walker; Corporals, McGorry, 

;\ ;in, McGlynn, Doran. 

ompany I, Sergeants Shanahan, Lyons, Dynan, Mullin, 
ph O'Brien; Corporals, Cousens, Dexter, Gaul, Hor- 
. Kennedy, Smiser, Welsh, Zarella, Beyer, Lenihan, 
r, Regan, Conway, Hettrick, Neary. 
<>mpany K, Sergeants Timothy Sullivan, Gleason, Hell- 
1 ; Corporals Van Yorx, McKessy, Clinton, Ryan, Oster- 
cr, Casey, Gallagher, LeGall, McMahon, Caraher, 
:ely, Hoey. 

^ impany L, Sergeants, Southworth, Kieman, Wittlinger, 
patrick, Mullins, Blood; Corporals Kennedy, Martin, 
'rien, Oakes, McCallum, George McCue, Murphy, John 

, Murphy, Hearn. 
Company M, Sergeants Major, Clark, May; Corporals 

-'■'\ Feely, Begley, Shear, Scott, Donovan, McGovern, 
!:, Bailey, Kiernan, Berger, Harry Murray, Knowles. 
Headquarters Co., Corporals Dick, Brochon, Albrecht. 
Machine Gun Co., Sergeants Stevens, Spillane, Gillespie, 

>oherty; Corporals Erard, Cohen. 



October 28th, 1918 
Our rear Headquarters are in two buildings on the main 
road that parallels the river Aire. In one of them is the 
Supply Company and the band. Solicitude for the welfare 
of bandsmen is the sole tribute that the army pays to art. 
In a neighboring building is an Ambulance Company and 
our Company Clerks, who have been ordered to be left in 
the rear because records are never properly made out if the 
Company Clerk becomes a casualty. I often make use of a 
returning ambulance to come back to Captain Kinney's Hch 
tel for a decent sleep and a good breakfast. Across the* 
road in the field a number of the men have made little dug- 
outs for themselves, as the buildings are overcrowded. 

Shell fire does not come back this far except occasionally, 
but the nights are often made hideous by enemy bombing 
planes. Aeroplanes carrying machine guns are futile 
things, but a plane at night dropping bombs is absolutely 
the most demoralizing thing in war. It is a matter of psy- 
chology. The man in front discharging his rifle has the 
hunter's exhilaration. Even shells can be dodged if not 
too numerous, and after a man has dropped on his face or 
jumped into a doorway and has escaped, there is the satis- 
faction that a hare must have when it eludes the dogs and 
pants contentedly in its hole. But when one lies at nighj 
and hears the deep buzz of a plane overhead, and most es- 
pecially when the buzz ceases and he knows that the plane 
is gliding and making ready to drop something, the one 
feeling that comes is that if that fellow overhead pulls th^ 
lever at the right spot, a very very wrong spot, it means 
sudden and absolute destruction. There is no way of get- 
ting away from it. One simply lies and cowers. 

Last night we heard the crunching roar six times re- 
peated in the field just across the road., Flannery and I 
got up and pulled on our shoes to go over and see what 
happened. Mules had been hit and two of our men slightly 


unded. The bombs made holes in the soft earth, ten 

vt deep and nearly twelve in diameter, and one of them 

had fallen at the feet of two of our lads and had not ex- 

]''')ded. I was particularly anxious about a lot of nice 

ungsters whom I had picked out after St. Mihiel for the 

nd — John Kyle, Robert Emmett Mitchell, Howard 

sey, Pat Campion, Will Maroney, Will King, George 

rms, John Killoran, Denis Glynn, Will Howard, — all 

Is that had volunteered before they were eighteen. I 

. iind them unharmed and rather enjoying the show. 

Lieutenant Bernard Byrne, who is not long with us and 
^^llose experience in warfare has not been of great dura- 
1 'tn, was ordered from the Supply Company a couple of 
(liys ago to duty with Company G. His first night in line 
Ik- took out a patrol which he handled admirably and came 
1 (k with two prisoners. A very good start indeed. 

! everybody has slept in his clothes for weeks. It would 
I] )t be true to say that we never take them off, because 
i' at is part of the morning, though not of the evening 
ual. Every morning officers and men, refined or rough- 
' k, strip to the waist for the process of "Reading his 
s.iirt." Not to put too fine a touch to it, we are all crawl- 
in i^ with lice. Holmes has a boy who is at the interesting 
e of four, and his wife writes to him the usual domestic 
Glories about his bright ways and sayings. "You ask her 
if that kid can read his shirt. Tell her I said that his old 
man can do it." Mrs. Holmes sent word back to Father 
Duffy that while the youthful prodigy had not all the ac- 
complishments of a soldier he could hike with any of us. 
I did not get the message for weeks afterwards, as my 
brother Chaplain was very much run down and Major 
Lawrence and I shipped him off, despite his protests, to the 
hospital. I do not need to worry about Father Hanley. 
As long as Ambrose Sutcliff's Goulash Wagon can supply 
him with an occasional meal, he will keep going any place 
I put him — though that is not the right way to phrase it, 
for I always have to keep him pulled back from the places. 


where he thinks he ought to be. I think I will take both my 
Chaplains home with me to the Bronx as curates. A Catho- 
lic church with a Methodist annex would be a novelty. 
Back in the peaceful days, a Jew friend of mine whom I 
was showing over my combination church and school said 
to me, with the quick business sense of his race, "You use 
this building for Church on Sunday and for school five 
days in the week. The only day it's idle is Saturday. 
What you ought to do is to hire a good smart young Rabbi 
and run a synagogue on the Sabbath. I'll bet you'll make 
money at it." 

The two weeks that elapsed between October i6th and 
November ist were the dreariest, draggiest days we spent 
in the war. The men lay out on the bare hillsides in little 
pits they had dug for themselves, the bottoms of which 
were turned into mud by frequent rains. They had one 
blanket apiece, and were without overcoats, underwear or 
socks, in the unpleasant climate of a French Autumn. 
They were dirty, lousy, thirsty, often hungry; and nearly 
every last man was sick. 

Captain Bootz, an old-time regular army man and there- 
fore not sympathetic with imaginary ills, made the follow- 
ing report on Anderson's battalion as early as October 17th. 
"Checked up strength of battalion shows 405 men for ac- 
tive combat, including liaison detail. Of this number about 
35% are suffering various illnesses, especially rheumatism, 
colds and fevers. The Company commanders state that 
these men are not receiving medical treatment, which should 
be given to them without fail or conditions will be worse 
in the next day or so. Some men are doubled up and 
should really be in the hospital. I cannot allow these men 
to leave, as it would set a precedent for many others to 
follow, and this would deplete our fighting strength so 
much more. First aid men attached to companies have no 
medical supplies other than bandages. A lack of proper 
clothing, such as overcoats, heavy underwear and socks,, 
brings on a great many of these maladies. The majority 


of the men have summer underwear, if any, and no over- 
coat and only one blanket; and this is entirely inadequate 
to keep a soldier in fit physical condition for field service 
in the climate that is found this time of year in France. I 
deem it my duty that this be brought to the attention of 
higher authorities so that they may be rightly informed 
as to the actual conditions we are living in, and that means 
be found to have the defect remedied immediately/' 

As the days went on, conditions got no better. Hun- 
dreds and hundreds of men had to be evacuated as too 
weak to be of any military value; and nothing but the need 
of man-power kept our doctors from sending half the regi- 
ment to the hospital. The only relief from monotony was an 
occasional night patrol, or the prospects which were held out 
to us of a fresh order to attack. In spite of the bloody nose 
\ we had already received, our men wished for the order to 
try again. Patrols and observation posts reported a lessen- 
ing of the enemy's strength, and our fellows felt certain that 
if the tanks would do their share they could get through. 
They had met their first repulse. If they had been in the 
war as long as the British or French, they would have 
learned to take it philosophically as part of the give and take 
of the game. But it was their first one, and they were burn- 
ing with the desire to get back at the enemy. 

On the 2 1 St our brigade relieved the 84th, our 2nd Bat- 
talion taking over the front line on the north edge of the 
, Cote de Chatillon. The next day orders were out for a new 
, attack in which the 165th were to work around the eastern 
end of Landres et Saint George. Everybody was on the 
qui vive for a new battle but the thing dragged from day 
to day until the 26th, when word came that we were to be 
taken out of the line and that the Second Division was to 
make the attack. Our men were sorely disappointed and 
grieved about it, but the decision was a proper one. With 
the artillery support that has been gathering in our rear I 
have no doubt that our fellows could have broken through, 
but we have become too weak in man power to exploit an 



initial victory in a way that should be done to make the 
most of it. Three weeks in line under such conditions do 
not fit men for the hardships of a sustained advance. Dur- 
ing this period we lost killed, in Company H, William Mur- 
ray and P. Nicholson; and in Company M, Davidson and 
Patrick Ames, a soldier who never knew fear. ! 


October 28th, 1918. J 
I went in to see General Menoher about my concerns as i 
Division Chaplain. After my business was done he said !-i 
that he had received orders to send me back to the States j 
to make a speaking tour for the Welfare Funds. He kept .? 
talking about these orders long enough to get me worried, m 
although as I watched his face closely I thought I could !;', 
detect a humorous and reassuring twinkle in his pleasant > 
eyes. Finally, after having been kept on the griddle for 1 
five minutes, I ventured the question, ''May I ask, General, | ' 
what reply you made to these orders ?" Then he laughed | 
in his genial way. *'I told them that you had better work i"' 
to do here than there and that I was not going to let you I 
go." I certainly do like that man. j 

Our land battles during these days are being conducted 
mainly at night as fights between patrols, the war in the day 
time being mainly in the air. On October i6th a Ger- 
man plane which had been separated from its escadrille 
came wabbling over the heads of Major Lawrence's group 
and landed in a field alongside them, the occupants being 
made prisoners. Two days later I had the good luck to wit- 
ness from the same spot a unique spectacle. There had 
been an air fight in which ours got the better of it. A Ger* 
man plane was evidently in a bad way. As we watched it 
we saw a dark object drop from it, and while we held ouf 
breath in sympathetic terror for a human being dropping to 
destruction, a parachute opened above him — the first in- 
stance of the kind we have seen in this war. Captain Bootz, 
who was under him at the time, said that he managed it 
by climbing out on the tail of his plane and dropping oB 


It from the rear. The great difficulty about using a para- 
chute for aviators has been that the on-moving plane hits 
the ropes before they can drop clear. Most of the air 
fights have been the result of the determination of the Ger- 
mans to get our balloons. They brought down four of 
them one afternoon, much to our disgust. 
f; There is a stock story about the rookie who is persuaded 
by his fellows that his tin hat is guaranteed by the govern- 
ment to turn the direct hit of a German "jy. When Colonel 
Dravo and the rest of us start to tell how an inch of plank- 
ing turned a German "jj, we shall be greeted with smiles of 
incredulity, but the thing actually happened. Dravo has 
a pleasant little Chalet out on the hill 263, beautifully situ- 
ated in the forest and affording an excellent place of re- 
pose for weary American officers if the Germans who were 
kind enough to build it would only leave their work alone. 
But the hill is shelled by day and shelled and bombed by 
night, in a picky sort of a way. A small portion of the 
shack is boarded off for a kitchen and in it sleep, or rather 
slept, for they don't like the place any more, the force of 
our Headquarters mess : Sergeant Denis Donovan, Jimmy 
Dayton, Tex Blake, McWalter, and John McLaughlin in 
superimposed bunks, so that the lads above were only a 
couple of feet below the roof. A shell hit just above them, 
the explosion ruining the roof and pitching them all to the 
floor; but every particle of iron in it spread itself into the 
air outside of the building. Luckily for them it must have 
been one of those long-nosed devils that explode on con- 
tact and cause much greater destruction than those that 
plow out the ordinary shell hole. The first time I saw the 
roads barely scratched where they hit I thought the German 
powder was becoming inferior. I know better now. 

• Hallowe'en 

We are out of the line tonight with the exception of 
Reilley's 3rd Battalion, which is to lie out there in their 



shelter pits under our barrage and whatever the German 
may send back in reply until the 2nd Division goes througl 
them tomorrov^. Twelve months ago we had scarcely lef 
our native shores, a wonderful year in the lives of all of us 
and the last one for many a poor fellow now sleeping in th< 
soil of France. A lot of the officers are crowded togethq 
in Kinney's quarters at the Esperance Farm. The room h 
hot and close, as shelter-halves and blankets screen ever] 
nook through which light might pass to give in format ioi 
of human habitation to a passing bomber. Everybody feelj 
tired, dirty and discouraged. 

I said to them, *'You are the glummest bunch of Iris! 
that I ever saw on a Hallowe'en. Johnnie Fechheimer, yot 
are the best Harp in this bunch ; start them singing. Franli 
Smith, warm us up with some coffee, since there's nothing 
better to be had.'* So Pete Savarese soon had the coffee 
boiling and the two Ganymedes, Bob Dillon and Charlit 
Lowe, ministered to our needs. Pretty soon they were al 
singing — Major Anderson, Kinney, Mangan, Fechheimer 
McDermott, Flynn, McCarthy, O'Donohue, Joe McNa- 
mara, Smith, John Schwinn, even Flannery, Scanlon, anc 
myself. Joe McNamara, who is as good a youth as the} 
make them, and who has done great service during tht 
past three weeks with his signal men, sang a song that was 
just on the verge of being naughty, with his handsome blue 
eyes twinkling provokingly at me. Dan Flynn knows al] 
the old songs that our mothers used to sing, **Ben Bolt,*' 
"You'll Remember Me," and all that sort of thing. Fech- 
heimer and MacNamara supplied the moderp element in the 
concert. But no matter what it was, everybody joined in, 
including the men in the loft upstairs and in the shelter 
tents outside, especially when it came to songs in praise of 
Good Little Old New York; and truck drivers and ambu- 
lance men and passing officers along the road got first-hand 
information that the New York Irish 69th had come 
through their three long weeks of fighting and hardship 
with their tails still erect. 


SCALE <. 20.000 

• /ooo. 





We had no doubt of the success of the 2nd Division. Ar- 
tillery was lined up hub to hub on all the roads around 
Exermont, Fleville and Sommerance and the machine guns 
of both divisions were to give them a sustained preparatory- 
barrage. I may add incidentally that the thorough prepara- 
tions for their attack were the best justification for our 
failure to reach the last objective. We heard the artillery 
hammering away through the early morning and it was 
soon evident that the sturdy infantry and marines of the 
2nd Division had carried the battle line well towards the 

I started up with Sergeant Fitzsimmons on my own sad 
quest of looking for our dead in the enemy wires. Just 
ahead of us as we passed through Sommerance a German 
shell lit on the road right in a party of five German prisoners 
and four American soldiers. The nine men lay scattered 
in all directions. We ran up and I found one of ours with 
both legs blown completely off trying to pull himself up 
with the aid of a packing case. In spite of his wounds he 
gave not the slightest evidence of mental shock. While 
Fitzsimmons ran for an ambulance, he told me his name 
was Conover, and that he was a Catholic, and said the 
prayers while I gave him absolution. He had no idea his 
legs were gone until a soldier lifted him on a stretcher, 
when I could see in his eyes that he was aware that his body 
was lifting light. He started to look but I placed my hand 
on his chest and kept him from seeing. Three men were 
dead already and it did not seem to me as if any one of 
them could live. One of the Germans was an officer who 
cursed his fate that brought him to this death by the fire 
of his own guns after lasting through four years of war. 

When we reached our old battleground I found that one 
man had gotten there before me on the same errand as 
myself. It was Father Davitt of Lenox, Mass., who had 
been detached from the 32nd Division as Corps Chaplain. 

On both sides of the Sommerance road as it neared the 
wire we saw the bodies scattered, still well preserved and 


•irecognizable by reason of the cool weather. Right around 

*the wire and in the sunken road that ran into it the Ger- 
mans had buried them. It was a surprise to find that even 

4 now the wire was absolutely unbroken in any place. An 
occasional shell had landed in it, as was evidenced by the 
holes made, but the whole fabric was so well bound to- 
gether that it simply jumped up and then dropped back into 
"place again. The 2nd Division had evidently been wise 
enough to carry their attack around it as I found just one 
jof their dead and he was lying in the chicane or passage 
made by the highway as it passed through it. 

I arranged with Father Davitt to have his detachment of 
Pioneers look after the sepulchre of our dead in case the 
Regiment got orders to move on, and returned to make 
my report to Colonel Dravo. 

The 3rd Battalion got back to our place in the rear dur- 
ing the morning, having suffered some losses from shell 
fire, amongst them being Jimmy Fay, who had part of his 
foot blown off. Orders to take up the advance were re- 
ceived on November 2nd, our 3rd Battalion being out of 
the line less than 24 hours. 

The first day's route laid down for us showed us that 
we were going to take over in the region to the west of 
that in which we had been fighting. In the plans for the 
attack of the 2nd Division they had moved rapidly towards 

Pthe NNE., leaving the Germans on their left to wake up 
and find themselves in a salient between our troops and 
the northern extension of the Argonne Forest. The 78th 
Division was engaged in expediting the evacuation of these 
Germans. Two days' march, neither of them very long, 
brought us to Brieulles, just north of which we were to 
relieve the 78th. The only difficulty about the march was 
for the wagons. Every outfit had lost half of its animals, 
and those that were left were in miserable condition. The 
artillery felt this hardest, but it made trouble for the in- 
fantry, too, in getting up the supplies and the kitchens. 

- The worn down roads were frightfully crowded with am- 


bulances, trucks, kitchens, guns, caissons, ration and com- 
bat wagons, headquarters automobiles ; and the M. Ps. were 
kept swearing till their voices gave out trying to keep traf- 
fic conditions tolerable. When we got to Brieulles we found 
that the Germans were blowing up bridges and roads in 
their retreat. Colonel Dravo, following tradition and his 
own generous instincts of being nice to an old fellow like 
me, had sent me on with his car; and Brown was carry^' 
ing me rapidly out of Brieulles towards the front wheit 
Major Doyle, our Brigade Adjutant, stopped me and said 
that while it didn't matter much what became of me, cars 
were getting scarce and he had decided objections to pre- 
senting what was once a perfectly good car to the Germans. 
I deduced from this that the enemy were in the next town 
and that I had better stay where I was. The regiment was 
stopped at Authe, to which place I returned. 

The villages which the Germans had left had a number of 
civilians, and in accordance with the order of the German 
Commander, the Mayors put a white flag on the church 
steeple to warn us against shelling them. I have never seen 
a happier lot of old people in my life than the French ci- 
vilians whom we were instrumental in saving after four 
years of captivity. At Authe our P. C. was in what had 
once been a village inn. The proprietress was old and lit- 
tle and lively and pious. She gave a warm reception to 
M. I'Aumonier when she heard that I belonged to the Old 
Church, and immediately proceeded tO' make plans for a 
High Mass next Sunday in spite of my telling her that we 
would not probably be there more than one night. *T have 
been doing most of the preaching to the people around here 
the last four years," she said. *'M. le Cure is old and quiet 
and he hasn't much to say ; but me, I talk, talk, talk all the 
time. I tell these people that God sent the German Devils 
amongst them because of their sins. I preach so much that 
they have given me a nickname. Do you know what they 
call me? They call me Madame Morale. And I preach to 
the Germans, too. I tell them they will all be in Hell if they 


do not mend their ways." "What do they say to you?" 
"Alost times they laugh and call me Grossmutter, but some 
of them swear and get mad. But I preach at them just the 
same. My sister she does not preach, she just prays." 

I went up to see the sister. They must have been both 
around eighty; and she sat in her chair looking absolutely 
like Whistler's picture of his mother, except that the hands 
were not idle in her lap, but fingered unceasingly a worn 

Madame Morale's piety was not limited to preaching. It 

included hospitality. We have brought along some fresh 

supplies of food for our Headquarters Mess; and as sol- 

tdiers from different outfits kept drifting in to the kitchen 

• looking for water and incidentally anything else they could 

<^ci, the old lady dipped into our scanty stock, saying, "Here, 

u niv poor boys, there is much food here" — until nothing was 


In going into action in this last phase of the Argonne 
fight Lieutenant Colonel Charles Dravo was in command, 
with Major Anderson second in command. Captain Merle- 
Smith (vice Kelly, evacuated with fever) commanding the 
1st Battalion, Captain Henry A. Bootz, in charge of Ander- 
son's Battalion, and Major Reilley with the 3rd. We re- 
lieved the 78th Division at the village of Artaise-le-Vivien 
Here the Germans had left in such a hurry that large stores 
of flour and vegetables had been left behind. On asking 
the inhabitants the reason for this extraordinary occur- 
rence we were answered by the word ''AvionsJ' In this 
sector we have absolute mastery of the air and we see vast 
flights of planes spread out like wild ducks in V-shaped 
fashion advancing over the German lines. I almost sym- 
pathize with the poor Boches, for I certainly do not like 
aerial bombs. 

The next three days was a foot-race, each battalion tak- 
ing its turn in the lead as the others became exhausted 
They swept from village to village, or rather from hill to 
hill, carefully closing around the villages, generally meetings 


with but little resistance, the last of the Germans, invaria-' 
bly a machine gun group, taking their flight fifteen minutes |. 
to a half hour before our men could get up. Colonel Dravo 
was out in the front with his wild Irish, while Anderson had 
the equally important task of trying to get the kitchens and 
supplies through. Lieutenants Schwinn, McDermott, Good- 
ell, Henry and Bell and Sergeant Scanlan labored night and 
day to get the kitchens through, crossing muddy fields and 
fording small streams because the roads were everywhere 
destroyed. Lieutenant Seidelman and Corporal Malone 
were busy putting up signs at every corner to guide the rear 
elements in the right direction to reach our swiftly moving 

I missed Major Lawrence, who is generally very much 
in evidence when action is on, but I discovered that he had 
very wisely made up his mind that the main thing was to 
see that the ambulances found a way to follow up the In- 
fantry. He had plenty of willing doctors under him to 
look after any wounded men in the field, but it was evident 
by the rate our Infantry was traveling that woimded men 
would not be evacuated for several days unless the ambu- 
lances got through. When finally they were needed, he 
had them there, both for the use of our men and those of 
other outfits which had not been so carefully provided for. 

For two days the advance was an interesting race. The 
6th Division was coming up the road behind ours, anxious 
to get a chance to relieve us and get into line before the war 
would come to an end. Each night they thought that surely 
by morning they would catch up; but our lads, moving 
freely across the open country, always kept well in advance 
of troops that had to move by column; and each day they 
were still further in the van. Our own Mess Sergeants and 
Cooks labored night and day to get the food forward, but 
for two days and more they, too, were left behind in the 
race. The men in front were not left entirely hungry, as 
in every village from which they drove the enemy the in- 
habitants drew out all of their scanty stores and served 


:hem with coffee, vegetables and a little bread, with unlim- 
ited supplies of bouquets and kisses. In spite of drawbacks 
it was a nice war. 
At 10:30 on the evening of the 6th, there came a most 
:raordinary order from Corps through Division that it 
s imperative that Sedan should be captured before the 
jiid of the next day; that if troops were resting they should 
)c immediately aroused and sent on their way ; and that the 
:ity should be taken if the last officer and man should drop 
n his tracks. Luckily for the men it took some time to get 
Jiat order forward to the line, as the horses of Jack Percy, 
Earl Pierce and young Underwood were fatigued by the 
incessant work, in which their riders shared, of carrying 
messages night and day. So the kitchens got through and 
the men were fed before they started out once more. 

On November 7th, Bootz with the 2nd Battalion was in 
the van. On Hill 332 the Germans put up a stronger re- 
lance than they had hitherto shown; and it came at a 
lime when our fire was growing weak on account of the 
expenditure of ammunition, which there was little means of 
rci)Iacing. Bootz told Captain Stout, who was in com- 
mand of G Company, that the hill must be taken, and Stout 
advanced with thirty-eight men of his own company and a 
detachment from Company H to capture the hill. As they 
kept crawling in on the Germans the latter began to waver, 
and the Captain called on his followers to advance upon 
them with fixed bayonets. With a great cheer our fellows 
swarmed up the crest and the daunted Germans, after a 
futile stand, grounded their guns, threw up their hands and 
surrendered. The men whose names stand high in the 
Company annals for this deed are, first of all, the dead: 
John Danker, George Spiegel, Onefrio Triggiano and Ray- 
mond Hawkins. Also the gallant captain and Lieutenant 
Otto; First Sergeant Meagher, Sergeants Martin Murphy, 
Martin Shalley, Irving Framan, Denis Corcoran, John 
Brogan and Francis Malloy, the two latter being wounded ; 
James Regan, Thomas Gallagher, Hilbert and Henry, Rem- 


ington, Youmans and Leavensworth, and, to complete the 
list, a bold Choctaw Indian with the martial name of Mc- 
Coy. Sergeant Patrick Travers, of Company H, received 
high praise from everybody. While the German resistance 
was still determined, he went alone against a machine gun 
on the right and captured it single-handed, taking three 
German officers and four men. 

The same day B Company lost Sergeant Ed. Kramer, 
and Martin Gilfoyle; C Company, Frank Casserly, Michael 
Golinski, and Joseph Peressine ; Company E, Orliff Gilbert, 
Samuel Kelly and William Lambert; Machine Gun Com- 
pany, William Gunnell; and the Sanitary Detachment, Mi^ 
chael Cavanaugh. 

Meanwhile events were happening which made the order 
to advance without ceasing seem more extraordinary. Ele- 
ments of the 1st Division appeared on our flank and rear. 
They, too, had received orders to the same effect from 
their Corps Commander, and had advanced to the left 
across the front of the 77th Division, and were taking pos^ 
session of our line, which was the one leading straight to- 
wards Sedan. They had crept up around Bulson in the 
morning, only to find General MacArthur and 84th Brigade 
Headquarters in possession of the village. Elements of the 
1 6th Infantry now came on Bootz's hill and claimed it as 
theirs. *This is my hill, and my line of advance," said 
Bootz. *'If you say it's yours, show your booty. I have 
twenty-five prisoners and twelve machine guns ; what have 
you got to show for it?" And Bootz ordered his battalion 
to advance, leaving to the others to do what they would. 

Nobody blamed the ist Division for this mix-up, because 
they certainly had orders the same as ours to advance and 
capture Sedan. The whole thing is a mystery. A staff 
ofiicer told me that neither of us had any right here, as 
Sedan lies in the sector of the French Division on our left, 
and considering what it means to the French, they are 
certainly the ones who have the best right to capture it. 

In this sector we had a visit from Sergeant Alexander 


Woollcott, who is well known in New York as a dramatic 
critic, and who has been assigned by G. H. Q. to the 
duties of reporter for the Stars and Stripes. He is always 
on hand when there is trouble, and the field of war becomes 

pleasant place for me whenever he is there. We have 
swapped stories and discussed men and books in the weird- 
est places. He is communicative rather than inquisitive and 
>ne never thinks of him as a reporter, but he gets all the 
nformation he wants and all the more effectively because 
there is no appearance of seeking it. He can even make 
Anderson talk. 

During this period Anderson had been forging ahead 
ivith his Headquarters group, expecting to find Bootz in 
Ihaumont. He entered that town with a couple of doctors, 
ieutenant Rerat, and his liaison men, only to find that they 
.vere the first to get there, and the enemy had not yet com- 
)letely evacuated it. They were under rifle fire as they 
:ame along the street, and had a merry little sniper's battle 
)efore they got possession. Then Lieutenant McCarthy set 
ip his one-pound cannon on the edge of the village, and soon 
lad the German gunners putting for safety over the hill. 
50 Anderson captured a town for himself, and for once did 
Colonel Dravo out of the bouquets and kisses. Though, 
rven here, Rerat got the cream of it. 

We kept going through that day, the 3rd Battalion re- 
ieving the 2nd during the night, and reaching on November 
5th, the village of Wadelincourt on the heights of the 
vleuse, directly overlooking Sedan. A patrol from Com- 
)any M with orders to go down to the Meuse and scout 
ip to the suburbs of Sedan, got nearest of all Ameri- 
an troops to that famous city. Eighteen men started out, 
►f whom most were wounded, but Corporal John McLaugh- 
in, with two men, carried out the mission and reported the 
esults of the reconnaissance. Under shell fire that night 
Ubert Bieber and Carl Maritz of Company I were killed 
nd Lieutenant Behrendts, the Company Commander, and 
lany others were wounded. James P. Smith of Company 


M was also killed and Sergeant Lester Lenhart of Coi 
pany E was mortally wounded. 

That night our Division was relieved by the 40th FrencSj 
Division, which from the beginning had the right of wajjj 
As a matter of courtesy the French Division Command^] 
invited a company of the 165th and i66th to enter with 
troops for the occupation of the suburbs of Sedan. Coi 
pany D of our regiment was selected for the purpose 
Lieutenant Cassidy had them all ready, but through son 
mix-up of orders they were not called upon to share in tl 
little ceremony. 

On November 8th we marched back to Artaise and tl 
next day to Les Petites Armoises; on the loth, to Vaux-e^ 
Dieulet. The nth found us at Sivry-les-Buzancy, wh( 
we spent two days. 

On our way in I got a rumor that the Armistice wa 
signed. I had always believed that the news of victory an 
peace would fill me with surging feelings of delight. But 
was just the contrary; no doubt because the constraint 
had put upon my natural feelings during the year w< 
taken off by the announcement. I knew that in New Yoil 
and in every city at home and throughout the world m( 
were jubilant at the prospects of peace. But I could thinJ 
of nothing except the fine lads who had come out with 
to this war and who are not alive to enjoy the triumph 
All day I had a lonely and an aching heart. It would be 
lesser thing to have been killed myself than to go back t( 
the mothers of the dead who would never more return 
Luckily for me my dear friend Chaplain Nash came ove; 
to see me and walked me for hours through the desolat* 
country, encouraging me to express my every feeling un 
til fatigue and the relief of expression brought me back t( 
a more normal mood. 

The men had no certainty that the rumors were true, an( 
discounted them. On November 13th we marched to Lan 
dres et Saint Georges which we had striven vainly to ente 
irom the other side five weeks before. The village wa 


almost completely demolished and our troops with others 
of the Division pitched their shelter tents on all the hills 
surrounding the town. That night official information was 
given of the Armistice. The men raided the Engineer and 
Signal Stores for rockets of all descriptions and the whole 
sky was filled with lights which in war would have demand- 
ed the expenditure of at least a million shells. Bonfires 
were blazing all over the hillside Finie la Guerre. The war 
was over. 

My duties, like my feelings, still lay in the past. With 
men from all the companies I went round the battlefield to 
pay as far as I could my last duties to the dead, to record 
and in a rough way to beautify their lonely graves, for I 
knew that soon we would leave this place that their pres- 
ence hallows, and never look upon it again. 

On the 15th, in accordance with Division orders, a for- 
mal muster was held. Our strength was 55 officers and 
1,637 men, with 8 officers and 43 men attached, 1,300 
short of the number we had brought into the Argonne. Of 
the survivors, not many more than 600 were men who had 
left New York with the regiment a little over a year ago. 
And most of these belonged to the Adjutant's Office, Bat- 
talion and Company Headquarters, Kitchens, Band and 
Supply Company. In the line companies, there are about 
.twenty-five rifle men to each company who are old-timers 
and nearly all of these have wound stripes earned in earlier 
engagements. The great bulk of the old regiment is in hos- 
pitals, convalescent and casual camps; some of them pro- 
moted, some transferred, hundreds of them invalided home, 
a great many, alas! buried on battlefields or in hospital 




On the 1 6th we took to the road again, happy at the 
thought that the Rainbow Division had received the honor 
of being chosen as part of the Army of Occupation. At 
the end of the first day's march our Headquarters were at 
Baalon. Crossing the Meuse at Duns sur Meuse I ran into 
Hogstrom and Mullen of Company C, whom I had thought 
dead, but who had been captured by the Germans in the 
wire on the night of October 14th. They had been well 
used, they said, except for the fact that there was little to 
eat. We crossed the Belgian frontier on the morning of 
November 21st at the village of Fagny, which was all dec- 
orated up like Old Home Day. The village band — a nonde- 
script outfit — played us into town. The people had made 
out of dress material American flags, or rather well-meant 
attempts at them, as five or six stripes and a dozen stars 
was about as near as they could come to it. After crossing 
the border we received a new commanding officer in the 
person of Colonel Charles R. Howland, a regular army 
man who had a regiment in the 86th Division. When that 
Division was broken up for replacement purposes, he was 
assigned to fill the vacancy in ours. About the same time 
Colonel Henry J. Reilly, who had been ably handling our 
brigade during the past five weeks, was superseded by 
General F. M. Caldwell, U. S. A. Colonel Reilly returned 
to the command of the 149th F. A. 

As we crossed Belgium at its southmost tip, we made 
only a two days' job of it, headquarters being at Ste. Marie 
on November 21st and at Thiaumont November 22nd. My 



chief impressions were of a clean, orderly, prosperous coun- 
try as compared with the ruined parts of France, and a 
very intelligent cure in whose house I stopped at Ste. Marie. 
When we passed the borders of the Grand Duchy of Lux- 
embourg at Oberpollen on the 22nd there were no brass 
bands to greet us. The inhabitants were civil and pleasant 
but they adopted a correct attitude towards us as foreigners 
crossing through their territory. Most of the regiment was 
billetted, and rather well accommodated, at Useldingen, a 
comfortable town with a fine new parish church. Here we 
stayed until the ist of December, till arrangements could 
be made for our passage into Germany. We are part of the 
Third Army now, and the Third Army has been organized 
on a shoestring. It cannot be said to be functioning very 
well, and the system of supplies and equipment is not in 
good shape. We have gotten a good deal of equipment — 
and we never needed it worse than after leaving the Ar- 
gonne — but there are many old and ill-fitting shoes, which 
makes hiking a torture for the men. 

The principal sight of Useldingen is the ruins of a very 
extensive medieval castle, standing on an elevation in the 
middle of the town. I wandered through it with Vandy 
Ward and Read of H. Q. Co., trying; with the aid of the 
Cure to get an idea of its original plan and the sort of 
life that was led there by other soldiers a thousand years 

Thanksgiving Day came round while we were here and 
everybody worked to celebrate it in proper fashion. There 
is a fair supply of food in the country, though one has to 
pay high prices for it, all the higher because the national 
currency is in marks and the people demand the old rate of 
100 francs for 80 marks. But, like all Americans, we want 
what we want when we want it, so the canny Luxembour- 
geois get what they ask for. Our religious services were in 
thanksgiving for peace. In the church we had a solemn 
high mass and Te Deum and I preached, Father Hanley 
singing the Mass. As Chaplain Holmes had not yet re- 


turned, I unfrocked myself of my papistical robes and 
went out to hold general services in the romantic court- 
yard of the old Schloss, using a breach in the fortification's 
as a pulpit. My friend Chaplain Halliday of the Ohios 
came along and added a few words in his earnest, sensible 

There is great joy in the regiment, for Captain Hurley 
is back. He looks thin and none too fit, and I know he 
is with us, not because the hospital authorities thought thai 
he should be, but through his own strong desire and plead- 
ing eloquence. We had a visit from Donovan also — on 
crutches. The Provost Marshal General had him trans-» 
ferred to his department while he was in the hospital, and! 
now he is touring the country in a car, performing his new; 
services. It is not a bad sort of a job at all — with head-^ 
quarters in Paris, and a chance to tour all over France in a 
first-class automobile, with the best billets and the best fooc 
wherever he goes — but not for Donovan. No one of oui 
enlisted men marooned in a casual camp with a lot of abso- 
lute strangers ever uttered with greater longing and pathos 
the formula, "I want to be back with my old outfit." Foi 
Donovan's case I shall omit the pathos. When that youn^ 
man wants anything very bad he gets it. I expect to sec 
him back on duty with us in a very, very brief time. 

My mail is a very full one these days. All of our old- 
timers back in hospitals and camps are clamoring to return 
to the regiment, and they think that if I only speak to 
somebody, a word from me will manage it. I went to 
Mersch to see my ever kind friend. Colonel Hughes, our 
Divisional Chief of Staff, to inquire if some general ar- 
rangement could not be made for the return of all men in 
combat divisions who had been evacuated from the line 
through wounds or sickness. I found that he was doing 
everything that he possibly could to get our Rainbow fel- 
lows back, and he promised to work for an order along 
the lines I proposed. 

The regiment marched on the ist of December, Head- 


quarters passing the night at Mersch; and on December 
2nd to Waldbillig. December 3rd was the day on which we 
finally accomplished what we had started out to do — make 
our invasion of Germany. We crossed the border by a 
bridge over the Sauer river into the village of Bollendorf. 
Captain John Mangan, who had come to the regiment on 
business from the 2nd Army, George Boothby of the New 
I York World and myself crossed the bridge ahead of the 
lOthers, very curious to see what reception we would get in 
^the land of the enemy. The first indication of the sort of 
reception we were to have came from an invitation from 
an old farmer and his wife whose house stood at the end of 
the bridge to step inside and have a glass of schnapps; 
when we prudently declined this, we were offered apples, 
but not being there as visitors, we felt it proper to say no. 
The proffered kindnesses were inspired partly no doubt by 
a desire to propitiate, but nobody could doubt that it was 
largely the decent impulse of a nice old couple. We re- 
joined the regiment for the march across. 

The column came down along the river, the band in front 
playing *The Yanks Are Coming" and, as we turned to 
cross the bridge, the lively regimental tune of ''Garry 
Owen." In front of us, above the German hill, there was 
a beautiful rainbow. As we marched triumphantly onto 
German soil, nothing more hostile greeted us than the click 
of a moving-picture camera. Every soldier in the line was 
glowing with happiness except myself, perhaps. On occa- 
sions like this of glory and excitement my mind has a habit 
of going back to the lads that are gone. 

We marched, with advance and rear guards, as if enter- 
ing a hostile country, our first stop being at Holsthum. We 
had hopes that our line of march would take us down the 
Moselle Valley towards Coblenz, but instead we struck off' 
to the north and northeast, through the rough Eift'el coun- 
try, along mountain roads that were badly worn down by 
the traffic of war. Our Headquarters for December 5th, 
6th, 7th, 8th and 9th were Blickendorf, Wallerschein, Hille- 


sheim (a romantic spot), Weisbaum and, after a desperate 
hike, Wershofen. 

The greatest surprise of our first week in Germany was 
the attitude of the people towards us. We had expected to 
be in for an unpleasant experience, and I have no doubt that 
some of our fellows had a picture of themselves moving 
around in German villages with loaded rifle and fixed bayo- 
net ready to repel treacherous attacks. We were received 
very peacefully, one might almost say, cordially. Farm- 
ers in the fields would go out of the way to put us on the 
right road, children in the villages were as friendly and 
curious as youngsters at home ; the women lent their uten- 
sils and often helped soldiers with their cooking, even of- 
fering stuff from their small stores when the hungry men 
arrived far ahead of their kitchens. There were many Ger- 
man soldiers in these towns still wearing the uniform (they 
would be naked otherwise), and they, too, were interested, 
curious, almost friendly. Some of them had been against 
us in battle, and with the spirit of veterans in all times and 
places, they struck up conversation with our men, fighting 
the battles over again and swapping lies. I talked with the 
priests in the different towns — one of them a Chaplain just 
returned from the Eastern front. Like all the others that 
we meet, they say that their country had the French and 
British licked if we had stayed out; to which I make the 
very obvious retort that they had followed a very foolish 
policy when they dragged us in. 

But it is only occasionally that this note is struck, the 
attitude of most people being that the war is over and 
they are glad of it. In fact, a surprising number have 
wanted to have it over for a considerable time past. No 
doubt the historical background of life in these countries 
makes them able to take defeat with more philosophy than 
we could ever muster up if foreign troops were to occupy 
our country. As for us, we are here in the role of victors, 
and our soldiers are willing to go half way and accept the 


ll attitude that for them also (unless somebody wants to start 

I something) the war is a past issue. 

Civilians hold grudges, but soldiers do not; at least the 

, soldiers who do the actual fighting. The civilian mind is 
fed up on all sorts of stories aboutatrocities, most of which 
I believe are fabricated to arouse decent human beings up 
to the point of approving of this rotten business of war. 
We fought the Germans two long tricks in the trenches and 

. in five pitched battles and they never did anything to us that 

'we did not try to do to them. And we played the game 
as fairly as it can be played. We followed their retreat 
through three sectors, in two of which they had been for 
>cars, and we never witnessed at first hand r.:iy of the 
atrocities we read about. A church burned at St. Benoit 
without any good military reason that I could s^e ; the shell- 
ing of the hospital in Villers sur Fere, in v/hich case there 
ras no way for them to know it was a hospital; some valu- 
ables piled up for carrying away — that is the whole indict- 
ment. But no crucified soldiers, no babies with their hands 
cut off, no girls outraged in trenches, to provoke our sol- 
diers to rush on to death to rescue them, no poisoned food 
or wells (except of course through gas shells), no women 
chained to machine guns, and no prisoners playing treach- 

In the invaded territory of France we found plenty of 
e\ idence of harsh military occupation. It was bad at its 
best, and some local commanders made it more intolerable. 
Tlie people were taxed without much to show for their 
money, forced to work for little or no pay, rationed rather 
slenderly though with enough to sustain strength, had to 
put up with requisitions of animals, houses and some minor 
property, such as linen and copper down to bedsheets and 
the brass knobs ofT the stoves. They were also dragooned 
about to various places to do work for their conquerors. 
I heard plenty of tales in Eastern France and Belgium of 
terrible experiences and unwarranted executions during the 
first couple of weeks of the German occupation from wit- 


nesses whose word I believe absolutely. After the civilians 
were thoroughly cowed these atrocities ceased, though 
many of the lesser hardships of military occupation per- 
severed during the four years. 

Most of the French and Belgians told me (though some 
voiced suspicions to the contrary) that the Germans saw 
to it strictly that none of their soldiers took the relief goods 
sent from America. One old lady told me that she had proof 
that all Germans were robbers; for they give her somi 
patched clothing as coming from America and she kne) 
that nobody in America would send over such stuff as that; 
It was hard to have to choose between being just and being 
loyal American. I refuse to state which attitude I took, 
but I am afraid that the dear old lady still thinks sh( 
has an argument to prove that the Boches are robbers. 

At any rate, the older griefs of these people are for th( 
soldiers who have come through an intense war experience, 
echoes of ''Old unhappy far-off things, and battles loq 
ago." They judge the German soldier by their own ex 
perience and by soldier standards. They do not fear him, 
they do not hate him, they do not depise him either. The] 
respected him when he put up a good fight or made a cleai 
getaway, and that was most of the time. It was a rare 
thing to hear a soldier in a combat division talk abou 
''Huns.'' It was always the ''Heinies," the ''Jerries," the 
*'Boches" or, simply the "Germans." 

The fine spirit on the part of our troops was much better^ 
even for military value, than hatred would have been, 
cannot see that deep bitterness could have made them any 
bolder. It would only have made them less efficient. An( 
the spirit is admirable in itself. 

At any rate we were convinced from the beginning ths 
our experiences as part of the army of occupation wet 
not going to be as unpleasant as we expected. 

Aside from the attitude of the people the things ths 
strike us most are two. Putting the two into one, it i 
the number and the fatness of the children. There are fei 


children on the streets in French villages; German villages 
swarm with youngsters. Our coming is like circus day and 
they are all out, especially the boys. Boys everywhere ! And 
such sturdy little towheads — chubby is the word for the 
smaller ones. I do not know about the rest of Germany, 
but the Rhineland is certainly not starved. Perhaps, as in 
Belgium, it is the townspeople who do the suffering. These 
children wear patched clothing, but the clothing covers 
rounded bodies. We find it easy to purchase meals at rates 
that are astoundingly reasonable after our experience in 
ulher European countries. Germany lacks many things — 
edible bread, good beer, real coffee, kerosene, rubber, oil, 
soap and fats; and in the cities, no doubt, meat and milk. 
The people here say that they eat little meat, their susten- 
ance being largely vegetable and based on the foundation of 
the potato. It scores another triumph for the potato. 

But I would like to know how they fatten the children. 
With good advertising a man could make a fortune on it 
at home. German breakfast food for boys, with pictures 
of chubby young rascals playing around American soldiers. 
I'ut perhaps Germans are plump by nature or divine decree, 
and it would not work with lantern-jawed Yanks like our- 

During this period Lieutenant Colonel Donovan returned 
to duty with us by direct orders of General Headquarters, 
Lieutenant Dravo going back to his duties as Division Ma- 
chine Gun Officer, thus being still near enough to us to keep 
up the ties of friendship which he had established in the 
Regiment. We remained in Wershofen and surrounding 
villages for five days, during which time the equipment 
was gone over, animals rested and some attempt made to 
patch up the shoes of the men, which had been worn to 
nothing by hiking with heavy packs on rough roads. On 
December 14th, we marched through the picturesque valley 
of the Ahr river over a good road to Altenahr, the scenery 
of which looks as if it had been arranged by some artistic 
stage manager with an eye to picturesque effect. It is a 


summer resort country and we had the advantage of good 
hotels for billets. On December 1 5th, we marched through 
Ahrweiler, an old walled town which was to be our Di- 
vision Headquarters, and Neuenahr, a modern summer re- 
sort place with good roads, commodious hotels and attrac- 
tive shop windows, and thence to the Rhine, where, turn- 
ing north about two kilometers, we entered the most pleas- 
ant and excellent town of Remagen-am-Rhein, which was 
to be our home for the next three or four months. 

Remagen was already in existence in Roman days. It is 
a charming well-built place of 3,500 inhabitants, with a 
large parish church and also an Evangelical church and a 
synagogue. In addition, there is on the hillside a striking 
pilgrimage church attended by Franciscan Friars and dedi- 
cated to St. Apollinaris, with the Stations of the Cross] 
built on the roadway leading up to it. The much adver-ii 
tised bottled waters which flow from a source near Neu^;| 
enahr get their name from this shrine. Remagen has also; 
a large convent, Annacloster, a hospital and a town hall,:; 
in front of which our daily guard mounts are held. 

I am afraid, however, that these edifices for religious and 
municipal uses made less immediate appeal to our fellows S 
than the fact that the town possessed a number of large and j! 
commodious hotels, some of them ample for a whole com 
pany. We immediately took possession of these as well a«ji 
of stores, beer-gardens and extra rooms in private houses ;i' 
the principle being that every soldier of ours should havei 
a bed to sleep in, even if the German adult males had to gor 
without. Donovan and I went on ahead to billet for Head- 
quarters. We called on the Biirgermeister, a kindly, gentle- 
manly, educated man, who was anxious to do everything to 
make our stay in town a harmonious one. His assistant, an 1 
agreeable young man who had been in America for a couple 
of years and had every intention of going back, came along ! 
with us on our tour. We had our pick of two or three 
modern villas of grandiose type north of the town cwa the 


hillside, the only difficulty about them being that they were 
a little too far away. 

At first two of our battalions were placed in mountain 
villages to the west, but after a week or so we had every- 
body accommodated in Remagen. I settled down with my 
gallant followers, Halligan and McLaughlin, in the house 
oi the Biirgermeistcr, which faced on the river just north of 
the parish Church. My German is a very sad affair, but 
he speaks French and his wife English. They have three 
aice children, the oldest about twelve. I keep my relations 
^ith tlie parents as official as is possible, when one is dealing 
A ith gentlefolks, but if I am expected to avoid fraternizing 
vvith the youngsters, they will have to lock me up or shoot 
Tie. I had a conference with the Parish Priest, a sturdy 
)ersonality who has his flock in good control, at my house 
;he other day and we were talking four languages at once 
—German, French, English and Latin. But I worked out 
iiy plans for a Christmas celebration. 

Christmas Mass on the Rhine! In 1916, our midnight 
iiass was under the open sky along the Rio Grande; in 
1 917, in the old medieval church at Grand in the Vosges; 
ind now, thank Heaven, in this year of grace, 1918, we 
"lebrated it peacefully and triumphantly in the country 
lU which we had been at war. Attendance was of course 
limtary, but I think the whole regiment marched to the 
•vice with the band preceding them playing "Onward 
ristian Soldiers" and "Adeste Fideles." We took full 
jossession of the Church, though many of the townsfolk 
:ame in, and when at the end, our men sang the hymn of 
Thanksgiving, "Holy God, we praise Thy name" the Ger- 
nans swelled our chorus in their own language "Grosser 
lOtt wir loben Dich." I preached on the theme "Can the 
var be ascribed to a failure on the part of Christianity?" 
have been often irritated by ideas on this subject coming 
"rem leaders of thought who have given little place or op- 
portunity to Christianity in their lives or projects. As 
Chesterton says: "Christianity has not been tried out and 


found wanting; Christianity has been tried — a little — and 
found difficult." Father Hanley sang the Mass, the Guard 
of Honor with the Colors being from Company K, with 
Captain Hurley in charge. 

For the Company dinners I was able to supply ample 
funds through the never-ceasing generosity of our Board 
of Trustees in New York City, and funds also placed at my 
disposal which were sent by Mrs. Barend Van Gerbig 
through the Veteran Corps of the 69th New York. But: 
in their purchase of food, the wily mess sergeants found that! 
soap was a better medium of exchange than money. i 

During January and February the men were kept busy 
during the day in field training, infantry drill, range prac- 
tice and athletics. Particular attention was paid to smart-! 
ness of appearance and punctiliousness in soldierly bearings 
and courtesy. The weather was mild though often rainy.;, 
Coal was not too hard to procure and the billets were kept'! 
fairly comfortable. The regiment being all in one towi][i 
there was a fine soldier atmosphere in the place. The!* 
townspeople are a kindly decent sort, but our fellows haveji 
enough society in themsleves and there is little f raterniza- ;| 
tion, and none that is a source of any danger — there is? 
more chance of our making them American in ideas thar]!|j 
of their making us German. ' 

The Welfare Societies are on the job with good accom-1 
modations. In the "Y" we have still Jewett and the eveii' 
faithful Pritchard and two or three devoted ladies, one oi^ 
whom is Miss Dearing, a sister of Harry Dearing who waslj 
killed in the Argonne. Jim O'Hara of the K. of C. golij 
the Parish Priest to give up his Jugendheim, a new building j 
with large hall, bowling alleys, all the German Verein sort 
of thing. There is no lack of places to go or ways to spend 
an evening. Lieutenant Fechheimer took charge of ath-'| 
letics and we had brigade contests, and also with the Cana-, 
dians, who were just to the left of the Ohios. 

The 3rd Battalion has lost the service of Mr. Kelly oi 
the **Y." When I first knew Mr. Kelly of the "Y" he was 


Corporal Kelly of Company I, 69th Regiment, at McAllen, 
Texas, and was sometimes known, Irish fashon, as "Kelly 
the Lepper," as he was a famous runner. His eyes were 
not as good as his legs, so he was turned down for re- 
enlistment. Being determined to have a part in the war he 
eot the "Y" to send him over as an athletic instructor and 
finally worked his way up to our regiment and was at- 
tached to the 3rd Battalion which includes his own com- 
pany. The assignrnent was more to the advantage of the 
3rd Battalion than of the Y. M. C. A. for Kelly gave away 
gratis everything he could wheedle, bully, or steal from the 
*'Y" depot officials. When we reached the Rhine, things 
were too quiet for Kelly and he started off to visit his native 
town in Ireland. If I ever hear that somebody has gotten 
stores from the police barracks to equip the Sein Feiners, 
I shall know that Kelly the Lepper is on the job. 

My own life is an altogether pleasant one. I have for 
my office a well furnished parlor on the ground floor of the 
Biirgermeister's house where I spend my mornings with Bill 
Halligan, mainly at the task of writing letters to soldiers 
who want to get back and to folks at home who ask news 
of their dear ones, living or dead. In the afternoons I float 
lazily around amongst the companies, just chatting and 
gossiping, and getting in a good deal of my work in my 
own way, sort of incidentally and on the side; or I drop in 
at headquarters and bother Captain Dick Allen and Jansen 
and Ed Farrell of the Personnel Department for correct 
data for my diary, or Ted Ranscht and Clarke for maps. 
Or I look in on the juvenile pro-consuls Springer and Allen 
to smile at the air of easy mastery with which they boss the 
German civilians into observing American Military Com- 
mands. My nights I spend at the building of the **Y" or 
K. of C. amongst the men, or at home, receiving numerous 
guests with a world of topics to discuss. It is an agreeable 
kind of existence, with no urgent duties except correspond- 
ence, and with the satisfaction of performing a not unim- 
portant service without any feeling of labor, but merely by 


kindly and friendly intercourse. My orderly, "Little Mac,"! 
is having the time of his Hfe. If I only had a car for him! 
to drive me around in, as Tom Gowdy did in Texas, he^ 
would never want to go home to the Bronx. i 

Father Hanley was made director of amusements and 
was kept busy providing entertainment five nights a week 
from our own and other Divisions for the two large halls 
conducted by the Y. M. C. A. and the K. of C, a task which ' 
he accomplished as he does everything — to complete satis- 

One thing that astonished everybody in this New York 
regiment was the number of illiterates amongst replace-' 
ments from the Southern States. We had two hundred 
men who could not sign their names to the pay-roll. A 
strong movement was started throughout the American 
Expeditionary Forces after the Armistice to teach such men 
to read and write, and the simplest problems in arithmetic, 
as well as to give a better knowledge of English to foreign 
born soldiers. In our regiment this task was confided to 
Chaplain Holmes, who went at it with his usual devotion to 
duty and attention to details, so that Chaplain Nash who 
was Divisional School Officer told me that the educational 
work in the 165th was by far the best in the Division. 

I had many examples of the need of schooling for certain 
of the men. Many of our recent replacements had been 
kept going from place to place and had not received pay 
in months. Whenever I heard of such cases I advanced 
them money from our Trustee's Fund. One evening three 
of our old-timers came to my billet to borrow some money 
to have a little party, but I had to tell them that my stock 
of francs was cleaned out. Just then a fine big simple fel- 
low from the Tennessee mountains came in to return the 
money I had loaned him. **How much do you owe me?" 
I asked. "Thirty-seven francs. "All right, hand it over to 
these fellows here.'* "Well, I reckon Fd rather pay you.'^ 
After a certain amount of joking about it, it dawned upon 
my slow intelligence that the poor fellow was embarrassed 


by not being able to count money, so I took him into 
another room and tried to teach him how much change he 
should have out of a fifty franc note. 

The efforts of our generous friends in New York in 
supplying funds were much appreciated by the whole regi- 
ment. We had been in line for months and the men were 
seldom paid. Even when pay-day came those who were 
absent in hospital, or those who had been absent when the 
pay-roll was signed, got nothing. The funds were left 
absolutely at my disposal, and I knew from the calibre of 
our Trustees that it was their wish that they should be dis- 
bursed in a generous spirit. Many of our bright sergeants 
were started off to Of^cer*s School without a sou in their 
pockets. I believed that our New York backers would like 
:o have the best men of our regiment able to hold up theif 
leads in any crowd, so I saw that every one of them had 
ifty or a hundred francs in his pocket before starting. 
When I could be sure of addresses, I sent money to men 
in hospitals and in casual camps. While the regiment was 
in line money was no use to anybody, as there was ab- 
solutely nothing to buy, not even an egg or a glass of wine, 
)ut here in Germany, with shops and eating houses open, 
my cash was a real boon, and I did not hesitate to dis- 
burse it. 

Just after the armistice, with the prospect that leaves 

night at last be granted, I sent to our trustees a bold re- 

juest for $20,cx)0.oo, to guarantee the men a real holiday. 

■^ iVhen the permissions for leaves came I found that in most 

:ases this money was not needed, as the long deferred pay 

^ave most of the men sufficient money of their own. So I 

ievoted a generous amount of it to help finance the com- 

)any dinners which were gotten up on a metropolitan scale 

n the hotels of Remagen. These were joyous affairs — 

easts of song and story-telling and speech-making. Col- 

)nel Donovan and I made it a practice to attend them all, 

nd he got in many a strong word on spirit and discipline 

vhich had better results in that environment than could 


have been produced on a more formal occasion. Father 
Hanley was always a favorite at these gatherings as he 
handed out the latest rumors (which he himself had manu4 
factured), discoursed on the superiority, of Cleveland ovef 
New York, and of the 3rd Battalion over any other bunch 
of fighting men in the whole universe. It was a part of my 
share in the function to speak on the good men in the Com- ' 
pany that had paid the great price ; and it is a tribute to the 
loyalty and steadfastness of human nature to see how the 
merry-makers would pause in their enjoyment to pay the 
tribute of a sigh or a tear to the memory of their com- 
panions of the battlefield who were absent from their 

Our winter on the Rhine was our happiest period in the 
whole war. First and foremost the regiment was all together 
in one place ; and companionship is by far the biggest ele- 
ment of satisfaction in a soldier's life. The men had good 
warm billets and most of them had beds to sleep on. The 
food was substantial and plentiful, though, for that matter, 
I think we were at all times the best fed army that ever 
went to war. There were periods of starvation in battles, 
but the main difficulty was even then in getting it from the 
kitchen to the men in line. 

The men had enough work to do to keep them in good 
healthy condition and to prevent them from becoming dis- 
contented; but all in all, it was an easy life. All of the 
old-timers got a chance to go off on leave, most of them 
choosing Paris, the Riviera, or Ireland. Short excursions 
to Coblenz by rail or river were given to everybody. 

Our band had a prominent part in adding to the pleasures 
of life. Bandmaster Ed. Zitzman had returned from school, 
and he with the Drum Major John Mullin and Sergeants 
Jim Lynch and Paddy Stokes made frequent demands on 
me for funds to purchase music and extra instruments. In 
France I had bought sixteen clairons or trumpets for the 
Company buglers to play with the Band. Here on the 
Rhine I bought other instruments, including orchestral 


ones, so we were well supplied for field or chamber music. 
Lieutenant Slayter took charge of the Band in matters of 
discipline and march time, with excellent results. ♦ 

One of the greatest of our successes during this period 
was the 165th Minstrels, organized by Major Lawrence, 
always active in everything for the good of the men. After 
having scored a distinct hit at home and throughout the 
Division, they went on a tour through the Army of Occu- 
pation, and were booked to go back through France if we 
had remained longer abroad. The performers were : Inter- 
locutor, William K. McGrath; End Men, Harry Mallen, 
Thomas McCardle, Harold Carmody, Edward Finley, and 
Charles Woods; Souhrettcs, Robert Harrison, James 
0*Keefe, James F. O'Brien, William O'Neill, James Mack, 
Melvin King, and John McLaughlin; Chorus: Charles 
Weinz, Edward Smith, John Brawley, John Ryan, John 
Zimmerman, John Mullins, Thomas O'Kelly, Eugene Eag- 
an, Walter Hennessey, Peter Rogers, William Yanss, Clin- 
ton Rice, Thomas Donohue, Chester Taylor, Sylvester Tay- 
lor, James Kelly, Charles Larson, with T. Higginbotham 
as strong man and Milton Steckels as contortionist. 

The health of the command has been excellent, although 
since we have come into civilized parts we have developed 
a certain amount of pneumonia which we escaped while 
living in the hardships of the Argonne. Since leaving Bac- 
carat I know of only two of our men who have died from 
other than battle causes ; Private Myers of the Machine Gun 
Company was drowned in the Marne in August and John 
E. Weaver of Company L died during the same month of 
illness. In Germany we lost Corporal Patrick McCarthy, 
Company E, died of pneumonia October 20th, W. J. Sil- 
vey of Company D, James Kalonishiskie and Robert Clato 
of M, James C. Vails of H, Corporal Joseph M. Seagriff, 
James O'Halloran, Charles Nebel and Terrence McNally of 
Supply Company, Emery Thrash and George Sanford of L, 
Carl Demarco of F, and one of the best of our Sergeants, 
John B. Kerrigan of Headquarters Company. 


Our only grievances were the difficulties of getting back 
our old officers and men, and the stoppage of promotions 
for officers after the Armistice. Every day my mail had a 
number of letters from soldiers all over France asking me 
to get them back to the Regiment; and virork on this line 
constituted my greatest occupation. Many of the men took 
the matter in their own hands and worked their way across 
France, dodging M. P.'s, stealing rides on trucks and trains, 
begging meals from kindly cooks and nice old French 
ladies, and finally, if their luck held out, getting back 
amongst their own. Others were returned by a more legiti- 
mate route, until, by the time we left the Rhine we had near- 
ly fourteen hundred men who belonged to the original com- 

A large number of our officers had been recommended, 
some of them over and over again, for promotion, and had 
not received it on account of wounds which kept them in 
hospitals when the promotion might have come through. 
And now they were barred from receiving the rank which 
they had earned on the battlefield, the vacancies being filled 
by replacements. Some of these replacement officers made 
themselves a warm place in the heart of the regiment espe- 
cially Major James Watson, who joined us in Luxembourg 
and was put in command of the 3rd Battalion; and also an 
old friend of ours from the 12th New York, Major Jay 
Zom, who was with us for a short time. 

Finally this legitimate grievance was settled in the most 
ample and satisfactory fashion. Lieutenant Colonel Dono- 
van was made Colonel, and placed in command of the 
regiment, Colonel Rowland going to take charge of a leave 
area in France. Major Anderson was made Lieutenant 
Colonel, and Bootz, Meaney and Merle-Smith Majors. 
There were also a number of promotions to the rank of 
Captain both in the line companies and in the Sanitary 
Detachment. There were two other men that we all felt 
should have gotten their majority, but when the original 
recommendations were made they were both suffering from 


wounds in hospitals with no seeming prospects of ever get- 
ting back to the regiment. These two were Captain John P. 
Hurley and Captain Richard J. Ryan, who also, to every- 
body's great delight, rejoined us on this river (which we 
call the Ryan river) though still in a doubtful state of 

Many of these promotions came after Donovan's acces- 
sion to the command and through his energetic efforts. He 
also made use of every possible means through official and 
private channels, to get back every officer and man of the 
Old Regiment that was able to come. First and foremost 
amongst these was Lieutenant Colonel Timothy J. Moy- 
nahan, who left us in Baccarat as a Major and had won 
his Lieutenant Colonelcy as well as a D. S. C. and a Croix 
de Guerre with the 37th Division. Jack Mangan, now 
Major Mangan, came back from 2nd Army Headquarters. 
We had an abundance of majors though we had lost one 
of them — Major Tom Reilley, who had been sent home 
much against his will for a promotion which he never re- 
ceived, just after the fighting was over. 

We also got back a lot of happy lieutenants who had 
gone to officers Candidate Schools, and had been commis- 
sioned in other Divisions, the happiest of the lot, I think, 
being Leo Larney, a fine athlete and a fine man. We had 
often recommended men for promotion in the regiment 
but had been successful in very few cases. Sergeant 
Thomas McCarthy was commissioned after the Ourcq; 
and later on Sergeants Patrick Neary and John J. 
Larkin were sent back to us from school as sergeants 
because the war started too soon after they left Ireland. 
When facilities for becoming citizens were extended to men 
in their case, they received their commissions in the regi- 
ment, and both did remarkable work in the Argonne. Ser- 
geant Frank Johnston of Company E was for a long time 
an officer without knowing it, as his commission had been 
sent to his home address. 

Colonel Donovan also inaugurated a series of little en- 


tertainments and dinners, inviting the leading officers of;i 
other regiments in the Division to partake of our Metropoli- 
tan Hibernian hospitality. Everybody in the Division likes ' 
Donovan, and they were as much delighted as we when he 
finally got command of the Regiment that he had so often; 
led in action. One of our greatest friends is Colonel John 
Johnson of the Engineers, a manly forthright two-fisted' 
South Carolinian ; we delight also in verbal encounter with 
Colonel Henry Reilly of the 149 Field Artillery, a man of 
wide experience, unlimited mental resources, and agile wit. >, 
The other three infantry colonels Hough, Screws and Tin- 
ley have been with the Division from the beginning and our | 
interchange of visits with them will be always one of the 
pleasantest recollections of the campaign. 

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day on the Rhine in the best 
approved manner with religion, games and feasting. My 
altar was set up in a field beside the river. The theme for | 
my discourse was the debt that the world owes to the sons of | 
Saint Patrick for their fight for civil and religious liberty | 
at home and abroad, with the prayer that that debt might | 
now be squared by the bestowal of liberty on the Island 1 
from whence we sprung. 

The day before Saint Patrick's Day the whole Division 
was reviewed by the Commander-in-Chief, General Per- 
shing, at Remagen. It was a note-worthy military cere- 
mony in an appropriate setting, by the banks of that river 
of historic associations. When he came to our regiment 
the eyes of General Pershing were taken by the silver furls 
which covered the staff of our flag from the silk of the 
colors to the lowest tip. In fact, that staff is now in excess 
of the regulation length, as we had to add an extra foot to 
it to get on the nine furls that record our battles in this 
war. 'What Regiment is this?'' he asked. 'The 165th 
Infantry, Sir." "What Regiment was it ?" 'The 69th New 
York, Sir." 'The 69th New York. I understand now." 

This visit was the final hint that our stay was not to be 
long. The whole Division got together to organize tlie 


l^ainbow Division Veterans which we did at an enthusiastic 
and encouragingly contentious meeting at Neuenahr. 

When the orders finally came for our return to America 
I received them with a joy that was tinged with regret that 
the associations of the past two years were to be broken 
up. They had been years full of life and activity, and 
take them all in all, years of happiness. There never was 
a moment when I wanted to be any place other than I was. 
There were times of great tragedy, of seeing people killed 
and of burying my dearest friends, but all that was part of 
the tragedy of our generation. It would not have been any 
less if I were not present, and it was some consolation to be 
where I could render some little comfort to the men who 
had to go through them and to tlie relatives of those who 
paid the big price. 

The sense of congenial companionship more than makes 
up for the hardships incidental to a campaign. What I 
am going to miss most is the friendships I have formed. In 
a very special degree I am going to miss Donovan. Nearly 
every evening we take our walk together along the river 
road that parallels the Rhine. It is the very spot which 
Byron selected for description in Childe Harold. The Rhine 
turns sharply to the right to make its way through the 
gorge of the Siebengebirge. *The castled crag of Drachen- 
fels" looks down upon the peaceful cloistered isle of Non- 
nenwerth, upon pleasant villages and vineyard terraces and 
beautiful villas which, with the majestic river, make the 
scene one of the most l^eautiful in the world. 

The companionship makes it all the more attractive. This 
young Buffalo lawyer who was suddenly called into the 
business of war, and has made a name for himself through- 
out the American Expeditionary Forces for outstanding 
courage and keen military judgment, is a remarkable man. 
As a boy he reveled in Thomas Francis Meagher's "Speech 
on the Sword," and his dream of life was to command an 
Irish brigade in the service of the Republic. His dream 
came true, for the 69th in this war was larger than the 


Irish Brigade ever was. But it did not come true by mere 
dreaming. He is always physically fit, always alert, ready 
to do without food, sleep, rest, in the most matter of fact? i 
way, thinking of nothing but the work in hand. He haspj 
mind and manners and varied experience of life and res- t 
oluteness of purpose. He has kept himself clean and sane [ i 
and whole for whatever adventure life might bring him, and .: 
he has come through this surpassing adventure with honor ; i 
and fame. I like him for his alert mind and just views ' 
and ready wit, for his generous enthusiasms and his whole , l^ 
engaging personality. The richest gain I have gotten out , i 
of the war is the friendship of William J. Donovan. j 

That is the way I talk about him to myself. When we I 
are together we always find something to fight about. One A 
tmfailing subject of discussion is which of us is the greater ;; 
hero. That sounds rather conceited, and all the more so 
when I say that each of us sticks up strongly for himself. 
Those infernal youngsters of ours have been telling stories 
about both of us, most of which, at least those that concern 
myself, attest the loyalty of my friends better than their § 
veracity. There is only one way to take it — as a joke. If | 
either of us gets a clipping in which his name is mentioned p 
he brandishes it before company under the nose of the other |( 
challenging him to produce some proof of being as great 
a hero. The other day Captain Ryan gave Donovan an 
editorial about him from a paper in Watertown, N. Y. It 
was immediately brought to mess, and Donovan thought 
he had scored a triumph, but I countered with a quotation 
from a letter which said that my picture, jewelled with elec- 
tric lights, had a place of honor in the window of a saloon 
on 14th Street. Donovan surrendered. 

I got a letter from Tom Reilley, who is back in New 
York, and disgusted with life because he is no longer with 
us; and he gave me some choice ammunition. "Father 
Duffy," he said, "You are certainly a wonderful man. 
Your press agents are working overtime. Recently you 
have been called the 'Miracle Man,* thus depriving George 


Stallings of the title. In the newspaper league you have 
Bill Donovan beat by 9,306 columns. I wish you would tell 
me, How do you wade through a stream of machine gun 
bullets? And that little stunt of yours of letting high ex- 
plosive shells bounce off your chest — you could make your 
fortune in a circus doing that for the rest of your life." 

It is all very amusing now, but it is going to be extremely 
embarrassing when we get back amongst civilians where 
people take these things too seriously. They kept me too 
long as a professor of metaphysics to fit me for the proper 
enjoyment of popularity. Donovan says that after his final 
duties to the regiment are finished he is going to run away 
from it all and go off with his wife on a trip to Japan. 

On April the second we boarded our trains for Brest — ^ 
the first leg on the way home. We had a happy trip across 
France in the most comfortably arranged troop trains that 
Europe ever saw ; remained three or four days at Brest, and 
sailed for Hoboken, the regiment being split up on two 
diips. Our headquarters and the first six companies were 
Dn the Harrishnrg, formerly the City of Paris in the Amer- 
ican Line. Jim Collintine used to sail on it and is very en- 
thusiastic in his praises. It is funny to hear him telling a 
seasick bunch "Ain't it a grand boat ! A lovely boat ! Sure 
yoM wouldn't know you were aboard her. And she's the 
woise ould thing. She's been over this thrip so often that 
^f niver a man put a hand to her wheel she'd pick her own 
kvay out and niver stop or veer till she turned her nose 
nto the dock, like an ould horse findin* its way to the 

After the men had found their sea-legs we had a happy 
rip. We spent Easter Sunday aboard, celebrating it in 
loly fashion. 

It was a happy throng that stood on the decks of the 
harrishnrg on the morning of April 21st, gazing at the 
southern shores of Long Island, and then the Statue of 
liberty, and the massive towering structures that announce 
o incoming voyagers the energy and daring of the 


Western Republic. Then down the bay came the welcomiu 
flotilla bearing relatives, friends and benefactors. 

The number of our welcomers and the ampleness of thei 
enthusiasm were the first indications we had of the ovei 
whelming welcome which was to be ours during the folloMi 
ing two weeks. I do not intend to speak here at any lengtj 
of these events, as the gentlemen of the press have describe 
them better than I could ever hope to do. The freedoc 
of the city was conferred upon Colonel Donovan and hi 
staff by Mayor Hylan and the Board of Alderman ; and ; 
dinner was given to the officers by the Mayor's Committe 
headed by the genial Commissioner Rodman Wanamaket 
Our own Board of Trustees, the most generous and efficieli 
lot of backers that any fighting outfit ever had since wa: 
began, gave the whole regiment a dinner at the Hotel Com 
modore which set a new record in the history of repasts 
Our brethren of the 69th New York Guard also gave { 
dinner to the officers of the 165th. And Colonel Donovai 
and I enjoyed the hospitality of the Press Assocation am 
the Lamb's Club. Another big baseball game, through thi 
good will of the owners of the Giants, added fresh fundi 
to the money at my disposal for needy families. My owi 
fellow townsmen in the Bronx prepared a public reception 
for which every last detail was arranged except the weath< 
er; but I was prouder than ever of them when they put th< 
thing through in good soldier fashion, regardless of tht 
meanest day of wind and rain that New York ever sa^ 
in the month of May. ■ 

There was nothing that imagination could conceive ol 
energy perform that our Board of Trustees was not willi 
to do for us. Dan Brady, who has neglected his busin 
for the past two years to look after the 69th, an* 
all the rest of them, devoted themselves entirely to further^ 
ing our well-being and our glory. The only thing I havi 
against Dan is that he makes me work as hard as himself] 
and bosses me around continually. At one of the dinners- 
said that if Dan Brady had taken up the same kind of a j 


lat I had, he would be a bishop by now; but if he were 

ly Bishop I'd be a Baptist or a Presbyterian; in some 

hurch anyway, that doesn't have Bishops. 

The part of our reception which I enjoyed most of all 

is the parade up Fifth Avenue. The whole regiment 

lared in it, including the extra battalion, seven hundred 

rong, of men who had been invalided home, and others 

our wounded who had a place of honor on the grand- 

md. Archbishop Hayes, who had blessed us as we left 

e Armory, Mayor Ilylan, men prominent in State and 

ity, in Army and Navy affairs, united to pay their tribute 

f praise to the old regiment. And thousands and thou- 

inds of people on the stands cheered and cheered and 

lieered, so that for five miles the men walked through a din 

f applause, till the band playing the American and Irish 

irs could scarce be heard. 

It was a deserved tribute to a body of citizen soldiers 
.ho had played such a manful part in battle for the service 
f the Republic. The appreciation that the country pays 
> its war heroes is for the best interest of the State. I am 
)t a militarist, nor keen for military glory. But as long as 
herties must be defended, and oppression or aggression 
ut down, there must always be honor paid to that spirit 
11 men which makes them willing to die for a righteous 
ause. Next after reason and justice, it is the highest 
[uality in citizens of a state. 

Our fathers in this republic, in their poverty and lowli- 
less, founded many institutions, ecclesiastical, financial, 
haritable, which have grown stronger with the years. One 
)f these institutions was a military organization, which they 
)assed on to us with the flag of the fifty silver furls. To 
hese we have added nine more in the latest war of our 
:ountry. As it was borne up the Avenue flanked by that 
)ther banner whose stars of gold commemmorated the six 
Kindred and fifty dead heroes of the regiment, and sur- 
•ounded by three thousand veterans, I felt that in the breasts 
)f generous and devoted youths that gazed upon them there 


arose a determination that if, in their generation, the Re- 
pubHc ever needed defenders, they too would face the peril? 
of battle in their country's cause. 

Men pass away, but institutions survive. In time we shall 
all go to join our comrades who gave up their lives in 
France. But in our own generation, when the call came, we 
accepted the flag of our fathers; we have added to it new 
glory and renown — and we pass it on. 



Fifth Avenue held a memorable crowd on the afternoon 
of the ninth of March, 191 7. There were old women there 
in whose eyes was the eager light that only the thought of 
a son can cause to glow ; there were proud old men — some of 
them with battered blue garrison-caps, and badges that told 
of service in the War between the States — there were wives, 
mothers, children — all waiting, in jubilant and affectionate ex- 
pectation, the sound of a band playing "Garryowen" and the 
sight of a flag fluttering from a pole so covered with battle- 
furls as to glisten in the sunlight like a bar of silver. 

The Sixty-ninth Regiment was back from the border. Es- 
corted by its old friend, the Seventh New York, the Regiment 
marched nearly eight hundred strong, down the Avenue and 
east to the Armory. The crowd — or a large part of it — 
followed, and soon families separated for months were re- 
united. When the Sixty-ninth was mustered out of service 
that March day, after months of arduous service on the Mexi- 
can Border, it numbered 783 men. Almost immediately it lost 
some three hundred officers and men. This was in accord- 
ance with War Department orders and the National Defense 
Act of June 3rd, 1916, which provided that men with depend- 
ant relatives should be discharged from the service. Men 
were lost also because of the system, now disconfinued, by 
which a soldier in the National Guard was furloughed to the 
reserve after three years of active service. 

So in the early Spring of 191 7, with participation in the 
European War a certainty, the Sixty-ninth Regiment found 
itself far below war strength, having lost a great number of 
men whom experience and training had made ideal soldiers. 
At once a recruiting campaign was instituted, but a recruiting 



campaign of a special kind. The Sixty-ninth has never foun<|; 
it at all difficult to fill its ranks — when it was under Southenj 
fire in the Sixties it was brought up to war strength nine times] 
But the purpose in view now was to bring into the regimen 
men who would, in every purpose and way — physically, men 
tally and morally — keep up its ancient and honorable stand 
ards. It was easy enough to enlist hundreds of strong mei 
who could be developed into good soldiers. But this wa 
not the object of the recruiting of the Spring of 191 7. I 
was desired to enlist strong, intelligent, decent-living men 
men whose sturdy Americanism was strengthened and vivifiec 
by their Celtic blood, men who would be worthy successors 0: 
those unforgotten patriots who at Bloody Ford and on Marye'j^ 
Heights earned the title of "The Fighting Irish." 

The Regiment set its own standards in selecting recruits 
In weight, for example, one hundred and twenty-eight poundi 
was established as the minimum. And if some honest mat 
with broad shoulders and a knockout in each fist was unable t^ 
read ACXUROKY on a card hung thirty feet away — whj^ 
the examining physicians were instructed not to be overly 
meticulous in their work. But if the candidate, having ever 
physical perfection, seemed to be the kind of man who woul< 
be out of harmony with the things for which the Sixty-nint! 
stands and has always stood, then the rigorous application oi 
some of the qualifying tests invariably resulted in his rejection 

When, on April 6th, 1917, President Wilson declared that a 
state of war existed between the United States and Germany 
his words found the Sixty-ninth Regiment ready, its ranks 
filled to war strength with soldiers of whom the men whc 
fought at Gettysburg and Chancellorsville would not b« 
ashamed. There was new intensity in the nightly drills ; there 
was new fervor in the resolve of every man, veteran of the 
Border and recruit alike, to make the Regiment as nearlj 
perfect a fighting unit as possible. 

The 6th of April is a date which no American soldier wil 
forget. And almost equally memorable is the 15th day oi 
July of the same year — the day on which the National Guard 
was called into Federal Service. The Sixty-ninth regiment, 
2002 strong, scarcely felt the heat of that torrid midsummefi 
so intent were all the men on preparing themselves for th^ 


cat adventure, and so passionately eager were they for the 
all to service overseas. 

On the 5th of August the Regiment, still retaining the nu- 
nerical designation which is permanently engraved upon the 
ablets of our nation's history, was drafted into the Regular 
\nny of the United States. This was a step nearer to the 

ing line — made, accordingly, with enthusiasm. And on the 

^ih day of August came the electrifying news that the Sixty- 
linth Regiment had been selected as the first New York Na- 
ional Guard organization to be sent to the war in vanguard 
»f the American Expeditionary Force. 

The circumstances in which the announcement was made 
o the regiment were striking. It was a boiling Saturday after- 
loon and officers and men were exhausted from the exercises 
)f the morning — a Divisional inspection in Central Park. The 
f'f^iment marched through the dusty streets and ascended the 

|)s into the Armory to learn that they were not to be im- 
ticdiately dismissed, but were to stay on the drill floor or in 
lie Company rooms. Lieutenant Colonel Latham R. Reed had 

;ie to Governor's Island to attend an important conference, 
Li id officers and men were ordered to await his return. Every- 
)ne hopefully awaited the arrival of splendid tidings, and the 
\ cariness seemed to pass away. 

When Lieutenant Colonel Reed returned, he called a meet- 
ng of his staff and the Battalion and Company Commanders, 
md told them such details as were then obtainable of the 
^eat honor which had come to the regiment they loved. There 
ivere present Major William J. Donovan, Major William B. 
Stacom, Major Timothy J. Moynahan, Captain George Mc- 
Aidie, Captain Thomas T. Reilley, Captain William Kennelly, 
Captain James A. McKenna, Jr., Captain Alexander E. Ander- 
son, Captain Michael A. Kelly, Captain James J. Archer, Cap- 
:ain James G. Finn, Captain Van S. Merle-Smith Captain 
John P. Hurley, and Captain William T. Doyle. They 
heard the good news with undisguised delight and at once pro- 
:eeded to prepare for the necessary intensive training. 

But as great as was their delight, h was clouded with one 
regret. And that regret was felt also by every enlisted man. 
They all knew that the Regiment had ^»een the first selected to 
go abroad not because of what it had aone in the Civil War, 


nor because it was representative of what was best in th( 
citizenship of our nation's greatest city. It had been selected 
after a long and searching examination of the military re- 
sources of the country, because its record in the most recem 
important test — the Mexican Border Campaign — showed it tc 
be the best trained and equipped fighting unit that America 
possessed. And the man who had done more than all others 
to bring the Regiment to this point, the man who during thf 
long strenuous months on the Border had moulded it after hi<i 
own ideal pattern of soldierly efficiency — that man was absent 
from the conference at which was announced the momentous 
news. There was not an officer in the conference room, there 
was not an enlisted man on the drill floor that day, who did 
not think of Colonel William N. Haskell — of the joy with 
which he would lead his beloved Regiment into the Great War, 
of the joy with which that Regiment would follow him across 
the ocean and over the parapet and through the German lines 
to the Kaiser's palace. There was not an officer or man who 
did not recall his last words when he was ordered to another 
duty '1 want to lead the 69th Regiment into a fight." 

Colonel Haskell was absent from this historic conference. 
He had been lent, not given to the Regiment, and now the 
Government claimed his valuable services to solve some of the 
problems of the new National Army. But he was present 
in spirit — in the thoughts of everyone in the building and in 
the fitness he had given to the Regiment's personnel. 

Soon after the announcement that the Sixty-ninth Regiment 
was to be one of the very first into battle it was learned that 
the Regiment was to be brought up to a strength of 3500, 
according to the scheme which the French military experts 
had developed from their hard-bought experience with the 
conditions of modern warfare. It would have been a task 
gratifying to the whole Regiment, including Colonel Charles 
Hine, who now was placed in command, to build up the 
Regiment to this size by means of the recruiting methods 
which already had proved so successful. But it had been de- 
cided by higher authorities that the Regiment's numbers should 
be augmented by additions from other New York National 
Guard organizations. Accordingly, one day in August, 1917, 


there arrived at the armory the first of the new increments— 
332 men from the 7th New York Infantry. 

The ties that bind the 7th and the 69th are ancient and 
strong. The friendship between the two organizations has 
Dften been strikingly manifested. It was much in evidence 
ivhen the New York National Guard was stationed on the 
Border. But it has never been displayed more convincingly 
:han on the day that the men from the 7th joined the 69th. 
Escorted to the doors of the armory by the rest of the 7th, led 
jy Colonel Willard C. Fisk, the men found the entire 69th 
Regiment assembled to welcome them. They were made at 
lome; they found it no difficult task to orient themselves to 
heir new surroundings. Without any disloyalty to the ven- 
erable regiment they had left, they accepted as their own the 
raditions and standards of the 69th and became not a distinct 
^Toup added to the Regiment but a vital part of it. 

On the 20th of August the 69th Regiment, now 2,500 strong, 
igain marched through New York, and again an enormous 
:rowd witnessed and followed the march. But this crowd, 
mlike that of the 9th of March previous, was not composed of 
)eople rejoicing over a long-sought reunion. The same men, 
vomen and children who had been present on the 9th of 
Vlarch to welcome the soldiers returning from the Rio Grande 
vere present and they were as proud as, or prouder than be- 
:ore. But faces that had been happy were fearful now and 
he gestures were of farewell. Wives and mothers looked 
it the bright ranks with smiling anguish. The 69th was 
narching to the ferry to cross the East River and entrain for 
Tamp Albert L. Mills, near Mineola, New York. It was the 
irst move toward the front, to win new battle-rings for the 
)ole that saw Cold Harbor and Bloody Ford. 

There were many new and strange experiences in store 
"or the officers and men during the period of intensive train- 
ng on Hempstead Plains. A carefully planned schedule pro- 
dded for drill and instruction enough to fill nearly every min- 
ite of the day. Much of the work was repetition for those of 
he men who had seen service on the Border, but they entered 
nto it in a way that showed they thoroughly appreciated its 
^alue. There was also training in those phases of offensive 
md defensive warfare w^hich have been developed since Aug- 



ust, 1914. This work came in for an especially large share 
of attention. It was no longer a mere drill; it was active 
preparation for the use of what is, in spite of trench-mortar, 
cannon^ bomb and machine, the most effective weapon of mod- 
ern warfare. The Regiment was instructed in the use of the 
bayonet by reserve officers who had acquired their knowledge 
from men with actual experience at the front. Cold ste 
propelled by Irishmen was said to be what the Germans chiefl 
feared and every effort was made to make sure that the 6gt 
should not, through lack of practice, be less skillful with the 
bayonet than were the Dublin Fusileers and the Connaught 
Rangers. Visitors to the camp who were so fortunate as to 
be present at the bayonet drill were greatly impressed by the 
dexterity which the soldiers had gained in a few weeks, and 
by the intense realism which pervaded the exercise. 

And now the Regiment gained, from day to day, the in- 
crements necessary to bring it up to the prescribed war 
strength of 3500. The men from the 7th had already been 
assimilated as privates and non-commissioned officers; they 
had become an integral part of the 69th (for only on paper was 
the name 165th in use). The 23rd, 14th, 71st and 12th now 
sent their delegations. 

In most cases, the selection of the men in the various 
armories was made with perfect fairness, the prescribed num- 
ber of sergeants, corporals and privates being arbitrarily taken 
from the ranks. But in certain companies it was soon evident 
that the officers had yielded to the natural temptation to en- 
deavor to retain in their commands their best trained non- 
coms. Here was, for instance, a corporal to be taken from 
Blank Company of the Dash Regiment. By strict adherence to 
the letter of the law, Corporal Smith, a soldier of stainless 
record, with three month's Border service to his credit, should 
be the man to entrain for Camp Mills. But here was Pri^'ate 
Jones, a recent recruit, not especially happy in the Da^h 
Regiment and probably not likely to be homesick for it if 
sent away. Why not let him sew a couple of stripes on the 
sleeves of his new blouse, and go on his way rejoicing. 

This is the way some Company Commanders reasoned. And 
as a result, the 69th Regiment found that among its new 
members were some Sergeants and Corporals whose military 


knowledge included little more than the manual of arms, and 
privates who were physically, morally, and mentally unfit for 
the service. It was not to be expected that these men would 
be received with overwhelming enthusiasm. 

Many of the soldeirs received from other regiments — most 
of them in fact, were valuable additions to the 69th and at 
once proved their usefulness by merging with the rest of the 
outfit and working for the soldierly perfection of the whole 
body. Of the others — well, some of them were reformed by 
thorough disciplinary action, and others were allowed to drift 
back into civilian life by means of liberal use of dependency 
and surgeon's certificate of disability. 

So many soldiers were lost of those acquired from other 
regiments that although the time for sailing was almost at 
hand it was considered advisable to institute another recruit- 
ing campaign. There was no difficulty in gaining the desired 
number of recruits; the prospect of immediate service in 
France with the most famous regiment in America brought 
to the Armory doors three times as many candidates as could 
be accepted. 

Now the wives and mothers who thronged the dusty Com- 
pany streets on Saturday and Sunday afternoons began to 
show stronger anxiety, to look with new intensity into the eyes 
of their soldiers as they bade them farewell and returned to 
the city. For the time for sailing was at hand — no one knew 
just when or just where the Regiment was going, but all felt 
it was a question only of days or hours. 

Twice secret orders to sail were received at Regimental 
Headquarters, and twice these orders were hastily counter- 
manded. The suspense began to tell on officers and men, to 
tell even more, perhaps on those to whom they had again and 
again to say good bye. At last, on the night of October 25th, 
Major Donovan led the first battalion through the dark camp 
and down the silent lanes to the long train that was to take 
them to Montreal. 

And now there were no crowds, there was no music. It was 
a journey more momentous, greater in historical importance, 
than the Regiment's triumphant return from the Border, than 
its flower and flag decked setting forth for Camp Mills. But 
it was not. like those memorable events, a time for music and 


pomp. The feeling of the officers and men was one of stem 
delight, of that strange religious exhaltation with which men 
of Celtic race and faith go into battle, whether the iarena be 
Vinegar Hill, Fontenoy, or Rouge Boquet. As the trainful 
of happy warriors steamed through the first leagues of the 
journey to the Front, Father Duffy, the Regiment's beloved 
Chaplain, passed from car to car hearing confessions and 
giving absolution. Rosaries — the last dear gift of mothers and 
sweethearts — were taken out and by squads, platoons and com- 
panies the soldiers told their beads. There was little sleep on 
the 69th special for Montreal that night — officers and men 
were too excited, too exalted for that. They had entered at 
last on the adventure of their lives. 

General O'Ryan had said that a soldier is a man who always 
wants to be elsewhere than where he is. This is not true of 
soldiers of the race to which General O'Ryan's name indicates 
that he belongs. They want to be elsewhere — only when they 
are in some peaceful place. If the Regiment had been rest- 
less before, the second and third Battalions were doubly so 
after they had seen four companies of their comrades go away. 

But they had not long to wait. On the night of October 
29th, the America (formerly the Amerika of the Hamburg- 
American line) pulled out of New York Harbor. There was 
no khaki on her decks ; the only figures to be seen were sailors 
and deck-hands. But as soon as the vessel was out of range of 
spying Teutonic eyes, soldiers poured out of every hatchway. 
And as they thronged the deck-space available and looked their 
last for a long time at the lights along the fast receding shore, 
they showed a contentment, a mirth that amazed the crew, 
long accustomed to transporting troops. 

"What's the matter with you fellows?" asked one sailor. 
"Ain't you sorry to be leaving your homes? Didn't you ever 
hear there was such things as submarines?" He had helped 
carry over all sort of soldiers, he said, Regulars, Marines and 
Guardsmen, but he had never before seen passengers so seem- 
ingly indifferent to the grief of leavetaking and the perils of 
the wartime sea. He couldn't understand it. 

He might have been able to understand it if he had read 
Chesteron's "Ballad of the White Horse." For in that wise 
poem is an explanation of the psychology of the 69th New 


York, an explanation of the singular phenomenon of soldiers 
leaving their dear ones and setting out over menacing seas to 
desperate battle in a strange land as merrily as if they were 
planning merely an evening at Coney Island. Chesterton 
wrote : 

"For the great Gaels of Ireland 
Are the men that God made mad 
For all their wars are merry 
And all their songs are sad." 


The First Battalion's voyage to France was more interest- 
ing than that of the main body of the regiment or of Com- 
panies L and M, who followed them in a few days. Sailing 
from Montreal on the Tunisian at 8 on the morning of October 
27th, they landed at Liverpool, England, on November 10. 
There they entrained for Southhampton, reaching that city 
late in the night. In the night of the nth they crossed the 
English Channel to Havre, and after a few hours' rest they 
were packed into open box-cars for their cold journey across 
France. They detrained at Sauvoy on November 15. 

The voyage of the good ship America was made over a 
sea so glassy-smooth that sea-sickness was an impossibility. 
The boat-drills, the rules against smoking or showing lights 
on deck at night and the constant watch for submarines (a 
work which was put wholly in the hands of the 69th Regi- 
ment, and executed by them with unflagging devotion) served 
to remind the men that, peaceful as the blue water looked, they 
were actually in the war already. 

The discomforts of a crowded ship could not daunt the 
spirits of the men of the 69th. The dark holes far below the 
water-level in which they were tightly packed rang with song 
and laughter every night until taps sounded. There were con- 
certs on deck and in the mess-room every night, except when 
the ship's course was through the danger zone and silence was 
enforced. If there is left in the Atlantic Ocean a mermaid 
who cannot now sing "Over There," "Goodbye Broadway, 
Hello France," "Mother Machree." and "New York Town," 
it is not the fault of the 69th New York. 


And yet mirth was not the sole occupation of these soldiers, 
exhilarated as they were by the prospects of battle. During 
the day, one could find little groups gathered on hatchways 
and in corners, studying, from little manuals they had bought, 
such subjects as the new bayonet work and grenade throw- 
ing. The talk of the men was very seldom of the homes 
and friends they had left behind, it was nearly always of the 
prospect of battle. They talked of what front they might be 
expected to hold, with what troops they might be trained, and, 
above all, of how soon they were to go into action. They 
discussed such methods and instruments of modern warfare as 
they knew with the keen interest of those who are soldiers 
by their own choice. 

Those who do not know the 69th Regiment would have been 
puzzled by the spectacle presented by the main deck amidships 
every afternoon and evening. There could be seen a line of 
soldiers, as long as the mess-Hne, waiting their turn to go to 
confession to the Regimental Chaplain, Father Francis P,| 
Duffy. And every morning — not on Sundays alone — there i 
was a crowd at the same spot, where, on an altar resting on 
two nail kegs, Father Duffy said Mass. 

The voyage passed without any sight of hostile sea or air- 
craft, and after two weeks the America came to anchor in 
the beautiful harbor of Brest. That is, it seemed a beautiful 
harbor at first, with its long white quay and its miles of dark 
green shore picked out with venerable gray stone buildings. 
But as day succeeded day with nothing for the soldiers to 
do but tramp the decks and yearn for the feel of sod under 
their hobnails, the view began to lose some of its beauty. 
There were two weeks on the open sea — these soon passed. 
But the week in Brest Harbor, in tantalizing sight of land, 
separated by only half a mile of green evil-smelling stagnation 
from shops and cafes and homes — that was cruel and unusual 

When, after six days a detail for the hard work of loading 
freight cars was formed, every man in the regiment volun- 
teered — and this sort of a detail usually is eagerly avoided. 
The volunteers who were accepted had little to reward them 
except the pleasure of being upon comparatively dry land. 
They were given no chance to taste the delights of the seaside 


city. When their task of unloading and loading baggage was 
finished, they and the rest of their shipmates learned what 
''Hommes 36-40, Chevaux 8" meant. From 40 to 50 men 
entered the waiting box-cars, with hard tack and canned corn- 
beef (Corn Willie) to feed them, and their own blankets to 
protect them from the hardness of the floors and the cold 
blasts that swept in at the open sides. 

Three days and three nights of such travelling as no soldier 
of the 69th can ever forget, and they were at the village of 
^auvoy, in the Department of Meuse. From this point a hike 
bf some two hours brought them to the tiny village of Naives- 
en-Blois. Here was to be the new home of Regimental Head- 
quarters, Headquarters Company v Supply Company and Com- 
pany B. The other companies (including those of the First 
Battalion, which had arrived in the district on the fifteenth 
of the month) were quartered in the nearby villages of 
Sauvoy, Bovee, Vacon, Broussey and Villeroi. 

The Regiment was put not in barracks, but in billets. Now 
billets, to those of the men who had done guard duty in upper 
New York State during the previous Spring, meant comfort- 
able bedrooms, buckwheat cakes with syrup for breakfast, and 
the society of good natured farming people. But billeting in 
the European sense of the term, meant something different, 
as they soon found out. It meant that certain householders, 
in return for the payment of a few sous per man per twenty- 
four hours, were obliged to allow soldiers to sleep in their 
* stables, barns or other outhouses. They were not obliged to 
furnish any food, light or heat. They were not obliged even 
to mend the roofs or walls of the shelters. Straw for filling 
bedsacks was furnished to the soldiers, and they were fairly 
launched on their first winter in France. 
[ It was a winter of unprecedented severity. A freezing wind 
i' blew through the great holes in the tumble-down sheds where 
the men slept, covering them, night after night, with snow. 
They learned many soldierly things. How to make blouse 
and overcoat supplement the thin army blankets, for instance. 
How to keep shoes from freezing in the night by sleeping on 
them. How to dress and undress in the dark — for lamps 
were unknown and candles forbidden. 
These things the soldiers taught themselves, or were taught 


by circumstances during their stay in Naives-en-Blois and en- 
virons. Their work consisted of close order drill, guard duty, 
and the thorough and much needed policing of the ancient vil- 
lage street. 

Now, Naives was near the front — so near that the guns 
could clearly be heard when the wind blew in the right direc- 
tion. This was cheering for the men, but as there were in- ; 
dications of a strengthening of the German lines at this point, 
with a possible view to an offensive, it was necessary to use 
the district for troops whose training had been completed; 
and, according to the new European standards, that of the 
69th had not yet begun. So it was necessary for the Regi- 
ment — indeed, for the whole 42nd Division, which then had its 
headquarters in the nearby city of Vaucouleurs — to give place 
to seasoned French troops. So the men made their packs, 
the wagons were loaded, and the Regiment changed station 
from the 4th to the 5th area. 

After two days of hiking (very easy hiking it seemed, in the 
light of later experiences) the Regiment arrived, on December 
13, in the historic town of Grand. Here, centuries before, the 
conquering Romans had encamped, one hundred thousand 
strong. The ruins of the mighty ampitheatre that they built 
still stands, and the tower of the great church was once part 
of a fort. It was Caesar himself who planned the broad roads 
on which our Regiment drilled, and Caesar's soldiers who 
made them. In this venerable church Father Duffy said mid- 
night Mass on Christmas, and all the town came to see these 
strange, gentle, brave, mirthful, pious American soldiers, who, 
coming from a new land to fight for France, practiced France's 
ancient faith with such devotion. The Regimental colors were 
in the chancel, flanked by the tricolor. The 69th band was 
present, and some French soldier-violinists. A choir of 
French women sang hymns in their own language, the Ameri- 
can soldiers sang a few in English, and French and American 
joined in the universal Latin of "Venite, Adoremus Domin- 
um." It was a memorable Midnight Mass — likely to be rem- 
bered longer even than that which Father Duffy had said on 
the Mexican Border just a year previous, which troops for 
fifty miles around had crossed the prairies to attend. 

Now it was considered advisable for the Division to pro- 


ceed to the 6th area. This meant a hike of some four days 
and nights. Accordingly, at 8 on the morning of December 
26th, the Regiment passed through the main street of Grand 
and out over the ancient Roman road. 

This hike has become so famous — or so infamous — because 
of the undeniable sufferings of those who took part in it that it 
needs no detailed description here. It must by any impartial 
historian be admitted that during it the men of the 69th Regi- 
ment were insufficiently fed and shod, that they endured great 
and unnecessary pains and privations. It must also be admitted 
that they bore these trials with a cheerfulness which amazed 
the French civilians through whose villages they passed, ac- 
customed as were these people to soldiers of almost every 
human race. They would crush their bleeding feet into their 
frozen, broken-soled hobnails of a black morning, and break- 
fastless start out, with a song on their lips, to climb the foot- 
hills of the Vosges Mountains through the heart of a blizzard. 
At noon (shifting their feet about to keep the blood moving) 
they would (if it was one of the lucky days) have a slice of 
bread or two pieces of hardtack for noon mess. At night they 
would have a sleep instead of supper. But they were never 
dispirited ; they were never too cold, too hungry or too weary 
to sing or to teach the innocent French villagers strange bits 
of New York slang. 

No man in the 69th Regiment "fell out" during that terrible 
hike. But many fell down. That is, no one, because of heart- 
breaking weariness, or f aintness or lameness went to the road- 
side and waited for the ambulance to pick him up. Those who 
finished the journey in ambulances or trucks did so because 
they had fallen senseless in the deep snow, unable to speak or 
move. And wherever the Regiment passed there were bloody 
tracks in the white roadway. 

"That hike made Napoleon's retreat from Moscow look 
like a Fifth Avenue parade," said one of the medical officers 
serving during this period. And many an observer compared 
the Regiment to Washington's foot-sore soldiers at Valley 
Forge. It was only the indomitable spirit of the Irish Amer- 
ican fighting man that kept the Regiment afoot through those 
four tragic days. 

The Regiment that arrived in Longeau on the afternoon of 


December 29th looked different from the Regiment that had 
left Grand four days before. To judge them by their gait 
and their faces, the men had aged twenty years. But their 
hearts were unchanged. As they stood in the deep snow, 
the ice-crusted packs still on their bruised shoulders, they had 
a laughirlg word for every pretty face at a Longeau window. 
The weary bandsmen started a defiant air, and the Regiment 
joined in with a roar. The song was "The Good Old Sum- 


Longeau, which with the surrounding villages constituted 
the Regiment's new home, is a small farming town in the 
Haute Marne District. UnHke those of Naives, its houses are 
strongly built and in excellent preservation, and the billets in 
which (awaiting the completion of barracks) the troops were 
stationed were dry, warm and comfortable. As soon as 
possible, the Regiment moved into the new barracks built in 
the outskirts of Longeau and nearby villages, and was thus 
more nearly consolidated than it had previously been since its 
arrival in France. 

In Longeau, the 69th Regiment was destined to receive 
much more practical training for the trenches than it had re- 
ceived in Camp Mills, Naives or Grand. These last two towns 
had really been merely stopping places, Longeau was a train- 
ing camp. The most important event of the stay in Longeau 
was the advent of Colonel John W. Barker. Colonel Hine was 
withdrawn from his post with the regiment early in January, 
in order that he might take part in the transportation work 
for which he was especially fitte(^. He was succeeded on Jan- 
uary I2th by Colonel John W. Barker, National Army. Col- 
onel Barker was an up-state New Yorker, who graduated from 
West Point in the class of '09. He had served in the Regular 
Infantry ever since in Cuba, the Philippines and on the Mexi- 
can Border. He saw considerable active service against the 
Indians, after taking part in almost the last of the Indian fight 
at Leach Creek, Minnesota. 

Four years ago, he was recommended by his arm of the 
service to represent the Infantry for one year's duty with a 
French Infantry Regiment. He was in France on this duty 
when the great war broke out, and remained as a member of 


our military organization until the arrival of the American 
Expeditionary Forces. Then he joined the staff of the Com- 
mander in Chief as General Staff Officer, 5th Section. He 
served General Headquarters in this capacity until personally 
selected by the Commander in Chief to command the 165th 

Now the regiment began to take the form of a modern 
fighting organization. It vi^as Colonel Barker's task to bring 
it into conformation with the new Tables of Organization, 
and to this task the best energies of himself and his staff were 
immediately devoted. 

The specialized platoons (pioneers, trench mortar, one 
pound cannon) were now organized and intensively trained, 
^'ompetent enlisted men from these platoons were sent to the 

liools newly established by General Headquarters and given 
ihe advantage of instruction by officers who had gained their 
knowledge of the subjects in actual warfare conditions. Hand 
grenades were supplied, and every man taught their effective 
use. Steel helmets now replaced the historic felt campaign 
hats. To every man were issued two gas masks, one French 

IS mask and one English box respirator. By means of con- 
stant drill in the rapid adjustment of these masks, under the 
direction of an officer who had specialized in the subject, the 
men acquired a proficiency in their use which saved many a 
life in the Luneville and Baccarat Sectors and during the weeks 
of desperate fighting on the banks of the Suippes and the 

It was during the stay in Longeau that the 69th Regiment 
organized its Intelligence Section, the first in the 42nd Di- 
vision. Under the direction of the Regimental Intelligence 
Officer, Lieutenant Basil B. Elmer, U. S. R., there was or- 
ganized and trained a group of scouts, observers, map-makers 
and snipers so expert in detecting and hindering the move- 
ments of the enemy that they were several times, in the course 
of the action that came later, asked to attach themselves per- 
manently to the Headquarters of the 42nd Division, in order 
that they might serve as instructors to the other regimental 
intelligence sections. 

There were several changes in the personnel of the Regi- 
ment's administrative staff. Lieutenant Colonel Reed had 


been selected for Staff College, and the Regiment never got 
him back. Captain William Doyle, who had served as Regi- 
mental Adjutant in Camp Mills, had been relieved while the 
regiment was in Naives-en-Blois, and his place taken by Cap- 
tain Alexander E. Anderson, long in command of Company 
E. Now Captain Anderson was relieved as Adjutant and 
placed in command of Headquarters Company. Its former 
commander, Captain Walter E. Powers, for several years Ad- 
jutant of the Regiment, went to the Headquarters of the 42nd 
Division, leaving an enviable record for absolute efficiency in 
company and regimental administration. His abilities were 
soon recognized by his commission as Major and appointment 
as Divisional Adjutant. Captain Doyle was attached to Bri- 
gade Headquarters. Captain Anderson's work was taken over 
by Lieutenant William F. McKenna, who was appointed Act- 
ing Adjutant, an office which he had filled during part of the 
Border campaign. 

The training of officers and men never flagged while the 
Regiment was stationed in Longeau. Battalion and company 
commanders. Lieutenants and enlisted men were sent for 
brief periods to the special schools instituted by General Head- 
quarters for their benefit, and on their return imparted to 
others the knowledge they had gained. There were lectures 
and quizzes every evening in the barracks, supplementary to 
the instruction received every morning and afternoon in the 
drill field and on the range. A number of American officers 
who had seen service at the front were now attached to the 
Regiment, and their first hand information gave new actuality 
to the daily work. 

The training of the Regiment for the action in which they 
were soon to take part received new and strong impetus dur- 
ing the month of February by the arrival in camp of the 32nd 
Battalion of Chasseurs. These famous French soldiers, who 
had been in violent action ever since 1914, proved to be the 
most useful instructors for the men of the 69th. On the 
range and during the long hours of grenade throwing and open 
and trench warfare practice, their instruction, example and 
companionship was a constant incentive to the American sol- 
diers. And it was a proud day for the 69th Regiment when 
its soldiers perceived that in rifle markmanship and in grenade 


throwing they had succeeded in proving their superiority to 
their veteran instructors. 

From February 7th to February 13th the Regiment took 
part in manoeuvres in which it was opposed by the i66th In- 
fantry. These manoeuvres took place in the hilly country 
around Longeau and had as their ultimate objective the seizure 
and holding of the town of Brennes. This difficult strategic 
task was eventually accomplished. 

Now the desire of the men for immediate participation in 
the action, the lure of which had drawn them across the ocean, 
was so strong as to amount to an obsession. It was evident 
to any competent observer that the whole Division was ready 
to render valuable service, as thoroughly trained as any unit 
in the American contingent. This was evidently the opinion 
of those who directed the movement of American troops, for 
on February i6th, 17th and i8th the Regiment marched to 
Langres, under orders to entrain for the city of Luneville, 
in the Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, for training with 
French troops in the line — ^that is, for actual duty in the 

Luneville was the largest town in which the Regiment had 
been stationed since its arrival in France. Some of the com- 
panies were put in billets, and some in the Stanislas Barracks, 
a magnificent stone building in the center of the town. Regi- 
mental Headquarters was established in the Stanislas Palace, 
a building which had previously housed the Administrative 
staffs of some of the French regiments who since 1914 had 
done brilliant work in retarding the German advance. 

Now the Regiment was placed under the tactical orders of 

the General commanding the 164th Division of the French 

Army, the Division then occupying what was known as the 

Luneville Sector. On February 21st, the ist and 2nd Battal- 

I ions. Headquarters Company and Machine Gun Company 

* paraded in the central square of Luneville and were reviewed 

by Major General Bassiliere, then commander of the 17th 

French Army Corps. A few days later, the Regiment was 

made happy by learning that orders to go to the front had 

S been received. On February 27th and 28th respectively, Com- 

l panies D and B marched to their posts in the front line 


trenches, relieving companies of the 15th Group of Chasseurs 
of the French Army. 

And now came a chapter in the history of the 69th Regi- 
ment which blotted out from the minds of officers and men 
all the hard work of the Camp Mills training period, all the 
privations and discomforts of the ocean trip and the journey 
across blizzard-beleagured France. The 69th was actually in 
the fighting — it was called "sl period of training in the 
trenches," but it was no time of sham-battles and manoeuvres. 
It was, in fact, an initiation into battle, by way of what was 
(up to the time of the 42nd Division's entry into it) a quiet 

A *'quiet sector" is one in which the German and French 
lines are separated from each other by a considerable distance 
— sometimes as much as five kilometers — in which there is no 
immediate objective for which the troops on either side are 
striving, in which, finally, shots are seldom fired, the opposing 
forces being content merely to hold their trenches almost 
undisturbed. These are also termed "rest sectors," and the 
task of holding them is given either to troops wearied by 
participation in great battles or to troops fresh from the drill 
field and lacking in experience in actual warfare. 

Nothing could have been more idyllic than the Rouge- 
Bouquet-Chaussailles Subsector of the Luneville Sector when 
Company D marched to its strong point before dawn on the 
morning of February 27th. The subsector is heavily wooded 
and almost clear of underbrush. As the company marched up 
the hill through groves of birch, pine, spruce, and fir, and saw 
to right and left little summer houses, benches, tables and 
dug-out entrances elaborately decorated with rustic woodwork 
they were rather shocked by the idyllic beauty of what they 
saw. Not for service in such a recreation park had they 
crossed the seas. Where were the bursting shells, where was 
the liquid fire, where were the bayonets of the charging 
Boches? This series of outposts joined by little ditches seemed 
at first too much like Central Park to satisfy the battle-hungry 
soldiers of the 69th. 

The impression of absolute peacefulness was further em- 
phasized in the course of a thorough reconnaissance of the 
subsector made on the morning of the 27th by the Regiment- 


al Intelligence Section. They stepped across a ditch and 
learned that they had passed the front line trenches — had gone 
"over the top." They wandered about what seemed to be a 
deserted pasture and learned that they were in No Man's 

But this tranquillity was not long to endure. The "Fight- 
ing Irish" lived up to their reputation — they "started some- 
thing" at once. Rifles were cracking merrily before Company 
D's men had been at their posts for half an hour. And by 
dusk on the evening of the 27th, Corporal Arthur Trayer and 
Private John Lyons of Company D had earned the distinction 
of being the first soldiers of the Regiment to be wounded. A 
high explosive shell burst on striking the roof of a shack 
in which they were resting, and the fragments wounded them 
— not seriously, but enough to warrant sending them to a hos- 
pital for a few weeks and later awarding them the coveted 
wound chevrons. 

By the night of the 27th the Chaussaille-Rouge Bouquet 
Subsector had lost much of its reputation for quietness. The 
Germans may not have known as yet that Americans were in 
the trenches opposite them, but they knew at any rate that 
some new and aggressive unit had taken over the line, and 
they felt in duty bound to show that they were not in the 
trenches entirely for a rest cure. So the fight was on. 

Regimental Headquarters took over the Regimental Post of 
Command at Arbre Haut on March 3rd. Company A occupied 
Strong Point Rouge Bouquet from March ist to March 7th, 
Company E from March 7th to 13th, Company L from 
March 13th to March 21st. Company B occupied Strong 
Point Chaussailles from March ist to March 6th, Company 
H from March 6th to March 12th, Company K from March 
I2th to March 22nd. Company D occupied Strong Point Sor- 
biers from March ist to March 5th, Company F from March 
5th to March nth. Company I from March .nth to March 
17th, Company M from March 17th to March 22nd. 

There were many minor casualties during the early part of 
this period, but nothing of a really tragic nature occurred until 
March 7th. Then came a calamity which would have broken 
the morale of any regiment less high-spirited than this, so sud- 
den was it and so lamentable. 


On that unforgettable Wednesday, all was quiet as if there 
were no war until exactly 3.20 in the afternoon. Then the 
enemy started a barrage of minnewerfer shells. Interspersed 
with 77s they fell steadily and thick for about an hour. One 
shell fell directly on the roof of a dug-out in Rocroi — an 
old dug-out, built by the French four years before. In it were 
21 men and one officer — ist Lieutenant John A. Norman of 
Company E. All were buried in the broken earth and beams, 
and some were at once killed. Two men were sitting on the 
edge of the upper bunk in one of the rooms — a falling beam 
crushed the head of one and left the other uninjured. 

At once a working party was organized and began to dig 
the soldiers from their living grave. There was bombardment 
after bombardment, but the men kept at work, and eventually 
they dug out two men alive and five dead. There were living 
men down in that pit — their voices could be heard, and they 
were struggling toward the light. Lieutenant Norman could be 
heard encouraging them and guiding the efforts of their 
bruised and weary hands and feet. Several times they were 
at the surface and willing hands were out-stretched to draw 
them to safety — when well-aimed shells plunged them down 
again into that place of death. At last, after almost super- 
human efforts on the part of men from Company E and 
from the pioneer platoon of Headquarters Company, after 
deeds of heroism, brilliant but unavailing, the work was dis- 
continued. The bodies of fourteen men and one officer still lay 
in that ruined dug-out — it was unwise, in view of the constant 
bombardment of it, to risk the lives of more men in digging 
for them. So a tablet was engraved and erected above the 
mound, the last rites of the church were celebrated by Father 
Duffy, and the place where the men had fought and died be- 
came their grave. 

After March 7th, no one called the Rouge Bouquet-Chaus- 
sailles Sector a rest park, no one complained that it was too 
peaceful to make them know they were at war. Not only the 
front line sector but the reserve position at Grand Taille and 
the road leading from the Battalion Post of Command at 
Rouge Bouquet to Regimental Headquarters at Arbre Haut 
were bombarded every day. But the Regiment held the line 
with undiminished zeal, and gave the enemy an experience 


novel in this sector in the shape of a Coup de Main on the 
night of March 20th. Of this adventure, the first of many of 
the kind in which the regiment was to take part, a brief, accu- 
rate account is to be found in the citation of its leader, ist 
Lieutenant Henry A. Bootz, (later Captain of Company C), 
. by the Seventh French Army Corps. 

His citation reads: "In the course of a raid, led a combat 
group into the enemy's lines, going beyond the objective as- 
signed, and recommenced the same operation eight hours later, 
giving his men an example of the most audacious bravery. 
Returned to our lines carrying one of his men severely wound- 

It is a matter of no military importance but of deep in- 
terest to everyone who sympathizes with the 69th Regiment 
and knows its history and traditions, that when the raiding 
party marched up past Regimental Headquarters on their way 
to the trenches, there fluttered from the bayonet of one of the 
men a flag — a green flag marked in gold with the harp that 
has for centuries been Ireland's emblem — the harp without 
the crown — and inscribed "Erin Go Bragh!" This flag had 
been given to Sergeant Evers of the Band and by a stranger — 
an old woman who burst through the great crowd that lined 
the streets when the Regiment marched from the armory to 
the dock on their journey to Camp Mills and, crying and 
laughing at the same time, thrust it into his hands. The flag 
went "over the top" twice that night, and for memory's sake 
the name "Rouge Bouquet" was embroidered on it. Later, 
the embroidered names became so numerous that the design 
of the flag almost disappeared. Who the woman was who 
gave the Regiment this appropriate tribute is unknown. Per- 
haps it was Kathleen in Houlihan herself. 

It was natural that this brilliant and utterly unexpected 
Coup de Main should have the effect of irritating our coun- 
try's enemy. It did so, and the result was a dose of "Schreck-* 
lichkeit" which at first threatened to prove more serious than 
the fatal bombardment of the dug-out in Rouge Bouquet. It 
came on the days of the raid — March 20th and March 21st. 
The French soldiers had been inclined to make light of the 69th 
Regiment's elaborate precautions against gas-attacks, of the 
constant wearing of the French gas-mask and the EngHsh box- 


respirator at the alert position (the respirator bound across 
the soldier's chest ready for immediate use) when in the 
trenches. The Germans, they said, could not send cloud or 
projector gas through Rocroi Woods, and their last gas shell 
attack had been made three years before. Why take such 
precautions against an improbable danger? 

But the French officers and men saw the wisdom of the 
Regiment's precautionary measures after March 20th and 21st. 
For on these dates occurred a gas-attack of magnitude un- 
precedented in this sector, in which the French casualties far 
outnumbered those of the Americans. The gas sent over 
in shells that burst along the road from Arbre Haut to the 
Battalion Post of Command and along the trenches and out- 
posts from Chaussailles to Rouge Bouquet were filled with 
mustard-gas, which blinded the men and bit into their flesh, 
and poisoned all blankets, clothing and food that was within 
the range of its baneful fumes. There were four hundred 
casualties in the Regiment on those two nightmare-like days — • 
four hundred men, that is, who were taken, blind and suf- 
fering, from the fateful forest to the hospital in Luneville and 
thence to Vittel and other larger centers for expert medical 
treatment. Most of these men were from Company K, others 
from Company M and Headquarters Company. But only two 
men were immediately killed by the gas, and of the four 
hundred who went to the hospital only three died — of bron- 
cho-pneumonia resulting from the action of the gas on their 
lungs. To their careful training in the use of the gas mask, 
the men owed the preservation of their lives in an attack 
which was intended to destroy all of the battalion then in the 

A volume could be filled with a record of the heroism dis- 
played by the officers and men of the 69th Regiment during 
these two days and nights of violent bombardment. The 
French authorities overwhelmed the Regiment with congratu- 
lations and awards. And surely the Croix de Guerre never 
shone upon breasts more worthy of it than those of First 
Lieutenant George F. Patton, of the Sanitary Detachment, 
who, standing in the center of a storm of mustard-gas, coolly 
removed his mask in order to give a wounded soldier the 
benefit of his medical attention, or that of First Lieutenant 


Thomas Martin of Company K, who, when every other officer 
of his company had been taken away to the hospital, took com- 
mand of the unit and held the sector through forty-eight hours 
of almost incessant bombardments. The French Division com- 
mander bestowed the Croix de Guerre on Col. Barker, with 
the following citation: 

"Commands a regiment noticeable for its discipline and fine 
conduct under fire. Has given his troops an example of con- 
stant activity and has distinguished himself especially on the 
20th of March by going forward under a violent barrage fire 
to assure himself of the situation and of the state of morale 
of one of his detachments starting on a raid into the enemy's 



LuNEViLLE Sector, February 21 to March 23, 1918. 

Baccarat Sector, April i to June 21, 1918. 

EsPERANCE-SouAiN SECTOR, July 4 to July 14, 1918. 

Champagne-Marne Defensive, July 15 to July 18, 1918 
Aisne-Marne Offensive, July 25 to August 3, 1918 

St. Mihiel Offensive, September 12 to September 16, 1918. 

EssEY and Pannes Sector. Woevre, September 17 to September 
30, 1918. 

Argonne-Meuse Offensive, October 13 to October 31, 1918 

Argonne-Meuse Offensive Last Phase, November 5, to No- 
vember 9, 1918. 


Killed: 644 Wounded: 2,857. Total: 3,501. 

Kilometers gained: 55. 

Headquarters : 83 different places. 

Number of days in contact with the enemy : 180. 






William J. Donovan 


Lieut.- Colonels 
Timothy J. Mo3^nahan 
Charles A. Dravo 

James A. McKenna (Deceased) 
Michael A. Kelly 
Thomas T. Reilley 
Van S. Merle-Smith 

Richard J, Ryan 
Louis A, Stout 

First Lieutenants 
James B. Mclntyre 
William M, Spencer 
John J, Williams 

Second Lieutenants 
Oliver Ames (Deceased) 

James S. D. Burns (Deceased) 
John J. Burke 
Andrew Ellett 

Francis P. Duffy 
James M. Hanley 
George R. Carpentier 

Co. C, Joseph W. Burns 
Co. A, John J. Dennelly 
Co. D, Joseph J. Lynch 
Co. C, Thomas P. O'Hagan 
Co. D, John J. Gribbon 
Co. B, Spiros Thomas 
Co. H, Bernard Finnerty 

Co. H, Eugene J. Sweeney 
Co. A, Thomas J. Sweeney 
Co. I, Michael A. Donaldson 
Co. C, Thomas O'Kelly 
Co. Hq., Thomas E. Fitzsimmons 

Co. K, John J. McLoughlin 
Co. M, John McLoughlin 
Co. M, G. Frank Gardella 

Co. M G, John F. Flint 
Co. H, Martin J. Higgins 
Co. San, Victor L. Eichorn 
Co. M G, Peter Gillespie 
Co. K, Edward J. Rooney 
Co. I, Edward T, Shanahan 
Co. K, Herbert A. McKenna 
Co. D, Richard W. O'Neill 
Co. C, Michael Ruane 
Co. H, Dudley Winthrop 
Co. A, Martin Gill 
Co. A, Matthew Kane 
Co. C, Archibald F. Reilly 
Co. C, Harry C. Horgan 
Co. H, Patrick Travers 
Co. C, William McCarthy 
Co. K, Peter J. Crotty 

Co. H, William O'Neill 

Co. C, Michael Cooney 
Co. L, Michael Fitzpatrick 
Co. D, Michael J. McAuliffe 
Co. C, Thomas F. O'Connor 

Co. M G, William J. Murphy 
Co. C, Frederick Craven 
Co. D, William P. White 
Co. E, Frederick Gluck 

Co. K, Victor Van Yorx 
Co. M, James E. Winestock 
Co. C, John Hammond 
Co. B, Matthew J. Brennan 
Wagoner Supply Co. 

Albert Richford 
Co. K, William J. Bergen 

Co. G, Edmund Riordan 


* After the Champagne fight, by request of the French military 
authorities, a number of officers and men were recommended for 
decoration, including Major Anderson for the Legion of Honor. The 
lists were lost while going through the French 'Army channels, but it 
is still hoped that the honors will be granted. 



Co. G, John McGeary 

Co. M, Robert Riggsby 
Co. D, Edward G. Coxe 

Co. K, Burr Finkle 
Co. H, Patrick Reynolds 

Co. C, John Teevan 


Francis P. Duffy 


Brigadier General 

Frank R. McCoy 

William J. Donovan 
Lieutenant Colonel 

Timothy J. Moynahan 

Michael A. Kelly 
First Lieutenant 

William Maloney 



Co. I, Michael A. Donaldson 

Co. A, Matthew A. Kane 

Co. K, Burr Finkle 

Co. M, Robert Riggsby 


William J. Donovan 
Co. C, Michael Ruane 


Brigadier Generals 

Frank R. McCoy 

John W. Barker 

William J. Donovan 
Lieutenant Colonels 

Charles A. Dravo 

Timothy J. Moynahan 
(Two Citations) 


Henry A. Bootz 
Michael A. Kelly 

Henry K. Cassidy 
Oscar L. Buck ^ 

Kenneth Ogle " 

Charles D. Baker 

Beverly H. Becker 

First Lieutenants 
John Norman 

Thomas C. P. Martin 
George F. Patton 

Second Lieutenants 
Arthur S. Booth 
W. Arthur Cunningham 
Henry W. Davis 

Raymond H. Newton 

Co. A, William J. Moore 
Co. A, Daniel O'Connell 
Co. A, Spencer G. Rossell 
Co. B, Spiros Thomas 
Co. C, Eugene A. McNiff 
Co. Hq., Abram Blaustein 
Co. D, Thomas M. O'Malley 
Co. E, Carl Kahn 
Co. E, William E. Bailey 
Co. G, James D. Coffey 
Co. G, James Murray 
Co. C, Thomas P. O'Hagan 
Co. K, Leo A. Bonnard 
Co. D, Joseph J. Lynch 
Co. A, John F. Scully 
Co. G, Martin Shalley 
Co. H, Jerome F. O'Neill 
Co. H, Bruno Gunther 
Co. A, Joseph G. Pettit 
Co. A, Frank A. Fisher 
Co. B, Christian Biorndall 
Co. B, William P. Judge 
Co. D, Thomas H. Brown 
Co. E, Alfred S. Helmer 
Co. F, Theodore H. Hagen 
Co. H, John P. Furey 
Co. D, John Cahill 
Co. A, Michael Morley 
Co. B, Daniel J. Finnegan 
Co. C, James Barry 
Co. C, Michael Cooney 
Co. D, Dennis O'Connor 
Co. D, Patrick Grogan 



Co. C, Herman H. Hillig 

Co. B, Frank Brandreth 

Co. A, Thomas Sweeney 

Co. C, John J. Brawley 

Co. C, Michael Ruane 

Co. D, Harry H. DeVoe 

Co. D, John J. Gribbon 

Co. E, James Quigley 

Co. I, Michael A. Donaldson 

Co. A, Bernard McOwen 

Co.. A, Matthew A. Kane 


Co.Hq., Joyce Kilmer 

Co. A, Matthew A. Rice 


(Two Citations) 


Co. K, Burr Finkle 

Co. F, John Finnegan 



Co. M, Robert Riggsby 

Co. L, Lawrence G. Spencer 



John Teevan 

Co. D, Marlow H. Plant 

Co. C, Bernard Barry 

Co. A, George A. McCarthy 



Co. B, Vincent J. Eckas 

Second Lieutnant 

Co. Hq., Charles S. Jones 

Thomas J. Devine 



(Old 69th N. Y.) 

Remagen, Germany, March 28, 1919. 

No. 12 
To the Officers and the Men of the 165th Infantry, 42nd Division. 
The following extracts from orders and letters commendatory of 
the 42nd Division and the 165th Infantry issued by our own Arrny and 
that of our illustrious Ally the French, indicate a deep appreciation of 
your worth as soldiers and pay a high tribute to your valorous conduct 
on the Fields of Battle. 

William J. Donovan 
John P. Hurley, 
Capt. Adj., 165th Infantry. 

March 21, 1918. 

The Lieut. Colonel Commanding the 13th Group of Chasseurs re- 
ports that in the course of the double coup de main exr uted in the 
night of the 20-21 March, the conduct of the American detachment of 
the 165th Regiment has been particularly worthy of commendation, 
and that Officers and Soldiers have given proof of an enthusiastic 

The General Commanding the 164th Division v/ishes to make known 
to all this appreciation, which justifies amply the confidence that we 
all have in our allies, a confidence doubled by the friendship and by the 
affectionate sympathy that the common life in the Sector has spon- 
taneously brought into being. 

General Gaucher, Commanding the 164th Division. 

* * * 

April I, 1918. 
From : Commanding General, First Army Corps. 

To: Commanding General, 42d Division, A. E. F. 

Subject: Commendations. 

1. The Chief of the French Military Mission has forwarded to the 
Commander-in-Chief, A. E. F., copies of citations and proposals con- 
cerning three officers and eight enlisted men of the 165th Infantry. 

2. The Commander-in-Chief charges me with the conveyance to 
these officers and soldiers his particular appreciation of their splendid 
conduct, which has won for them these citations from the French 

3. To the appreciation thus conferred by the Commander-in-Chief, 
the Corps Commander adds his own and desires that the foregoing be 
made known in a suitable manner to the officers and soldiers cited. 

By direction, 

Malin Craig, 

Chief of Staff. 


May 21, 1918. 

The First Company, under Captain Edart, penetrated the German 
line on the night of May 19-20, 1918, and the following night it drove 
back with vigor the Germans who came out against us from their lines, 
thus maintaining our superiority in morale. 

In the course of these operations the American Volunteers (from 
Second Battalion, 165th Infantry), who were attached to the Edart 
Company displayed the utmost dash and coolness, as well as a splendid 
comradeship in battle. 

I have the honor to ask for them in recompense the authorization to 
cite them in my Regimental Order. 

Colonel Jungbluth, Cdt. 67th R. I. 

6th ARMY CORPS H. Q. June 15, 1918. 

At the moment when the 42nd U. S. Infantry Division is leaving 
the Lorraine front, the Commanding General of the 6th Army Corps 
desires to do homage to the fine military qualities which it has con- 
tinuously exhibited, ind to the services which it has rendered in the 
Baccarat sector. 

The offensi^'e ardor, the sense for the utilization and the organiza- 
tion of terrain, the spirit of method, the discipline shown by all its 
officers and men, the inspiration animating them, prove that at the firsi 
call, they can henceforth take a glorious place in tne new line oi 

The Commanding General of the 6th Army Corps expresses hhi 
deepest gratitude to the 42nd Division for its precious collaboration ;i 
he particularly thanks the distinguished Commander of this Division 
General Menoher, the Officers under his orders and his Staff sc 
brilliantly directed by Colonel MacArthur. 

It is with a sincere regret that the entire 6th Army Corps sees the 
42nd Division depart. But the bonds of affectionate comradeship whicV 
have been formed here will not be broken ; for us, in faithful memor. 
are united the living and the dead of the Rainbow Division, those whL 
are leaving for hard combats and those who, after having nobly sacri-i 
ficed their lives on this Eastern Border, now rest there, guarded ovei 
piously by France. 

These sentiments of warm esteem will be still more deeply affirmed! 
during the impending struggles where the fate of Free Peoples is to be 

May our units, side by side, contribute valiantly to the triumph ol 
Justice and Right: 

General Duport. 


[ June i8, 1918. 

.To: Colonel McCoy, 

• Commanding i6sth Inf. Rgt. 

»My Dear Colonel McCoy: 

I greatly appreciate the kind thought you had in sending me your 
order No. 10 relating the numerous citations that have been granted 
to the 165th. 

The old New York regiment has a great past of glory. I am sure 
\t will be famous on the battlefields of France as it has been in 

I also want to thank you for the kind farewell you gave Captain 
Mercier. I know this Officer feels sad in leaving your regiment. He 
will keep a precious recollection of the six months he spent with his 
gallant Irish comrades. 

With the expression of my personal appreciation of your kindness 
and my best compliments, 

I am. 

Sincerely yours, 


Major, Liaison Officer, 

42nd Division. 

4th ARMY H. Q. July 16, 1918. 


During the day of July 15th, you broke the effort of fifteen German 
divisions, supported by ten others. 

They were expected according to their orders to reach the Marne 
in the evening: You stopped their advance clearly at the point where 
I we desired to engage in and win the battle. 

You have the right to be proud, heroic infantrymen and machine 
[gunners of the advance posts who met the attack and broke it up, 
aviators who flew over it, batt-^lions and batteries which broke it, 
staffs which so minutely prepared the battlefield. 

It is a hard blow for the enemy. It is a grand day for FRANCE. 

I count on you that it may always be the same every time he dares 
to attack you; and with all my heart of a soldier, I thank you. 



21ST ARMY CORPS, July 17, 191a 


General BERNARD, Commanding par interim the 170th Division. 

To the Commanding General of the 42nd U. S. Inf. Division. 

The Commanding General of the 170th Infantry Division desires to 
express to the Commanding General of the 42nd U. S. Infantry Divi- 
sion his keen admiration for the courage and bravery of which the 
American Battalions of the 83rd Brigade have given proof in the 
course of the hard fighting of the 15th and i6th of July, 1918, as also 
for the eflFectiveness of the artillery fire of the 42nd U. S. Infantry 

In these two days the troops of the United States by their tenacity, 
largely aided their French comrades in breaking the repeated assaults 
of the 7th Reserve Division, the ist Infantry Division and the Dis- 
mounted Cavalry Guard Division of the Germans: these latter two 
divisions are among the best of Germany. 

According to the order captured on the German officers made pris- 
oner, their Staflf wished to take Chalon-sur-Marne on the evening of 
July i6th, but it had reconed without the valor of the American and 
French combatants, who told them with machine gun, rifle and cannon 
shots that they would not pass. 

The Commanding General of the 170th Infantry Division is there- 
fore particularly proud to observe that in mingling their blood glori- 
ously on the Battlefield of Champagne, the Americans and the French 
of today are continuing the magnificent traditions established a century 
and a half ago by Washington and Lafayette ; it is with this sentiment 
that he salutes the Noble Flag of the United States in thinking of the 
final Victory. 


21ST ARMY CORPS Hq., July 19, 1918. 


At the moment when the 42nd American Division is on the point 
of leaving the 21st Army Corps, I desire to express my keen satisfac- 
tion and my sincere thanks for the service which it has rendered under 
all conditions. 

By its valor, ardor and spirit, it has very particularly distinguished 
itself on July 15th and i6th in the course of the great battle where the 
4th Army broke the German offensive on the CHAMPAGNE front. 

I am proud to have had it under my orders during this period ; my 
prayers accompany it in the great struggle engaged in for the Liberty 
of the World. 

General Naulin, 
Commanding the 21st Army Corps. 


6TH ARMY P. C, July 26, 1918. 


The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, in the course of a visit 
to the 6th Army, expressed his satisfaction over the results obtained, 
as well as for the qualities of valor and perseverance manifested by all 
units of the Army. 

The Commanding General of the 6th Army, is happy to transmit to 
the troops of his Army the felicitations of the PRESIDENT OF THE 

Signed: General DeGoutte. 

July 28, 1918. 

From: Commanding General, ist Army Corps, Am. E. F. 
To: Commanding General, 42nd Division, Am. E. F. 

Subject : Congratulations : 

1. The return of the 42nd Division to the ist Army Corps was a 
matter of self-congratulation for the Corps Commander, not only be- 
cause of previous relations with the Division, but also because of the 
crisis which existed at the time of its arrival. 

2. The standard of efficient performance of duty which is demanded 
by the Commander-in-Chief, American E. F., is a high one, involving 
as it does on an occasion such as the present complete self-sacrifice on 
the part of the entire personnel, and a willingness to accept cheerfully 
every demand even to the limit of endurance of the individual for the 
sake of the Cause for which we are in France. 

3. The taking over of the front of the ist Army Corps under the 
conditions of relief and advance, together with the attendant difficulties 
incident to widening the front, was in itself no small undertaking, and 
there is added to this your advance in the face of the enemy to a 
depth of five or more kilometers, all under cover of darkness, to the 
objective laid down by higher authority to be attained, which objective 
you were holding, regardless of the eflforts of the enemy to dislodge 
you. The Corps Commander is pleased to inform you that the 42nd 
Division has fully measured up to the high standard above referred to, 
and he reiterates his self-congratulation that you and your organiza- 
tion are again a part of the ist Army Corps., Am. E. F. 

(Signed) H. Liggett, 

Major General, U. S. A. 


6TH ARMY P. C. August 9, iQia 


Before the great offensive of the i8th of July, the American 
troops forming part of the 6th French Army distinguished themselves 
in capturing from the enemy the Bois de la Brigade De Marine and the 
village of VAUX, in stopping his offensive on the MARNE and at 

Since then, they have taken the most glorious part in a second 
battle of the MARNE, rivaling in order and in valiance the French 
troops. They have, in twenty days of incessant com.bat, liberated 
numerous French villages and realized across a difficult country an 
advance of forty kilometers, which has carried them beyond the 

Their glorious marches are marked by names which will illustrate 
in the future, the military history of the United States : 


The new divisions who were under fire for the first time showed 
themselves worthy of the old war-like traditions of the Regular Army 
They have had the same ardent desire to fight the Boche, the same 
discipline by which an order given by the Chief is always executed 
whatever be the difficulties to overcome and the sacrifices to undergo. 

The magnificent results obtained are due to the energy and skil 
of the Chiefs, to the bravery of the soldiers. 

I am proud to have commanded such troops. 

The General Commanding the 6th Army 

Headquarters, 42nd Division, 


August 13, 1918. 


A year has elapsed since the formation of your organization. I 
is, therefore, fitting to consider what you have accomplished as a com 
bat division and what you should prepare to accomplish in the Future 

Your first elements entered the trenches in Lorraine on Februan 
2ist. You served on that front for no days. You were the firs 
American division to hold a divisional sector and when you left th( 
sector June 21st, you had served continuously as a division in th( 
trenches for a longer time than any other American division. Althougl 


you entered the sector without experience in actual warfare, you so 
:o!Klucted yourselves as to win the respect and affection of the French 
v'cterans with whom you fought. Under gas and bombardment, in raids, 
in patrols, in the heat of hand-to-hand combat, and in the long, dull 
Kuns of trench routine so trying to a soldier's spirit, you bore your- 
selves in a manner worthy of the traditions of our country. 

You were withdrawn from Lorraine and moved immediately to the 
r^hampagne front, where, during the critical days from July 14th to 
lu'v i8th, you had the honor of being the only American division to 

t in General Gouraud's Army, which so gloriously obeyed his 
r: "We will stand or die," and by its iron defense crushed the 
jcrman assaults and made possible the offensive of July i8th to the 
wrest of Reims. 

From Champagne you were called to take part in exploiting the suc- 
;ess north of the Marne. Fresh from the battle front before Chalons, 
,rou were thrown against the picked troops of Germany. For eight 
:onsecutive days, you attacked skillfully prepared positions. You 
:aptured great stores of arms and munitions. You forced the cross- 
ngs of the Ourcq. You took Hill 212, Sergy, Meurcy Farm and 
Scringes by assault. You drove the enemy, including an Imperial 
juard Division, before you for a depth of fifteen kilometers. When 
/our infantry was relieved, it was in full pursuit of the retreating 
Germans, and your artillery continued to progress and support another 
\merican division in the advance to the Vesle. 

For your services in Lorraine, your division was formally com- 
nended in General Orders by the French Army Corps under which 
rou served. For your services in Champagne, your assembled officers 
•eceived the personal thanks and commendation of General Gouraud 
limself. For your service on the Ourcq, your division was officially 
omplimented in a letter from the Commanding General, ist Army 
Torps, of July 28th, 1918. 

To your success, all ranks and all services have contributed, and I 
lesire to express to every man in the command my appreciation of his 
ievoted and courageous effort. 

However, our position places a burden of responsibility upon us 
vhich we must strive to bear steadily forward without faltering. To 
)ur comrades who have fallen, we owe the sacred obligation of main- 
laining the reputation which they died to establish. The influence of 
)ur performance on our Allies and on our enemies can not be over 
stimated, for we were one of the first divisions sent from our country 
:o France to show the world that Americans cafi fight. 

Hard battles and long campaigns lie before us. Only by ceaseless 

^ /igilance and tireless preparation can we fit ourselves for them. I 

^ irge you, therefore, to approach the future with confidence, but above 

ill, with firm determination that so far as it is in your power you will 

ipare no effort, whether in training or in combat, to maintain the 

record of our division and the honor of our country, 

Charles T. Menoher, 
Major General, U. S. Army. 


Headquarters 42nd Division. 


October, 1918. 

On October 18, 1917, one year ago today, the Headquarters and 
certain of the elements of the 42nd Division sailed for France. . . . 

The Division is now engaged in the most difficult task to which it 
has yet been set: The piercing at its apex of the "Kriemhilde Stel- 
lung," upon the defense of which position the German line from METZ 
to CHAMPAGNE depends. 

During its service in France, Division Headquarters has had its 
Post of Command at 23 different points in towns, woods and dugouts. 
The Division has captured prisoners from 23 enemy divisions, including 
three Guard and one Austro-Hungarian divisions. 

Charles T. Menoher, 

Major General, U. S. Army 


American Expeditionary Forces. France. 

November nth, 1918. 
To the Officers and Men of the 42nd Division : 

On the 13th of August I addressed you a letter summarizing the 
record of your achievements in Lorraine, before Chalons and on the 
Ourcq. On the occasion of my leaving the Division I wish to recall 
to you your services since that time and to express to you my apprecia- 
tion of the unfailing spirit of courage and cheerfulness with which you 
have met and overcome the difficult tasks which have confronted you. 

After leaving the region of Chateau Thierry you had scarcely been 
assembled in your new area when you were ordered to advance by hard 
night marches to participate in the attack of the St. Mihiel Salient. In 
this first great operation of the American Army you were instructed 
to attack in the center of the Fourth Army Corps and to deliver the 
main blow in the direction of the heights overlooking the Madine 
River. In the battle that followed you took every objective in accord- 
ance with the plan of the Army Commander. You advanced fourteen 
kilometers in twenty-eight hours. You pushed forward advance ele- 
ments five kilometers further, or nineteen kilometers beyond your 
original starting point. You took more than one thousand prisoners 
from nine enemy divisions. You captured seven villages and forty-twc 
square kilometers of territory. You seized large supplies of food 
clothing, ammunition, guns and engineering material. 

Worn though you were by ceaseless campaigning since February, yot 
then moved to the Verdun region to participate in the great blow which' 
your country's armies have struck west of the Meuse. You took Hillj 


283, La Tuilerie Farm and the Cote de Chatillon and broke squarely 
across the powerful Kriemhilde Stellung, clearing the way for the ad- 
vance beyond St. Georges and Landres-et-St. Georges. Marching and 
fighting day and night you thrust through the advancing lines of the 
forward troops of the First Army. Ycu drove the enemy across the 
Meuse. You captured the heights dominating the River before Sedan 
and reached in the enemy lines the farthest points attained by any 
American troops. 

Since September 12th you have taken over twelve hundred prison- 
ers ; you have freed twenty-five French villages ; you have recovered 
over one hundred and fifty square kilometers of French territory and 
you have captured great supplies of enemy munitions and material. 

Whatever may come in the future, the men of this Division will 
have the proud consciousness that they have thus far fought wherever 
the American flag has flown most gloriously in this war. In the de- 
termining battle before Chalons, in the bloody drive from Chateau 
Thierry to the Vesle, in the blotting out of the St. Mihiel Salient, and 
in the advance to Sedan you have played a splendid and a leading part. 

I know that you will give the same unfailing support to whoever 
may succeed me as your Commander, and that you will continue to bear 
forward without faltering the colors of the Rainbow Division. I leave 
you with deep and affectionate regret, and I thank you again for your 
loyalty to me and your services to your country. You have struck a 
vital blow in the greatest war in history. You have proved to the 
world in no mean measure that our country can defend its own. 

Charles T. Menoher, 

Major General, U. S. Army. 


Office of the Commander-in-Chief. 

France, March 22, 1919. 
Major General Clement A. F. Flagler, 
Commanding 42nd Division, 
American E. F., 

Ahrweiler, Germany. 

My Dear General Flagler : 

It afforded me great satisfaction to inspect the 42nd Division at 
Remagen on March i6th, during my trip through the Third Army, and 
to extend at that time to the officers and men my appreciation of their 
splendid record while in France. 

The share which the 42nd Division has had in the success of our 
Armies should arouse pride in its achievements among all ranks. Ar- 
riving as it did on November i, 1917, it was one of the first of our 
combat divisions to participate in active operations. After a period of 
training which lasted through the middle of February, 1918, it entered 


the Luneville sector in Lorraine, and shortly afterwards took up a 
position in that part of the line near Baccarat. In July it magnificently 
showed its fighting ability in the Champagne-Marne defensive, at which 
time units from the 42nd Division aided the French in completely re- 
pulsing the German attack.^ Following this, on July 25th, the Division 
relieved the 28th in the Aisne-Marne offensive, and in the course of 
their action there captured La Croix Rouge Farme, Sergy, and estab- 
lished themselves on the northern side of the Ourcq. In the St. 
Mihiel offensive the division made a rapid advance of 19 kilometers, 
capturing seven villages. Later, during the Meuse-Argonne battle, it 
was twice put in the line, first under the 5th Corps and second under 
the^ 1st Corps, at which later time it drove back the enemy until it 
arrived opposite Sedan on November 7th. 

Since the signing of the armistice, the 42nd Division has had the 
honor of being one of those composing the Army of Occupation, and I 
have only words of praise for their splendid conduct and demeanor 
during this time. I want each man to realize the part he has played in 
bringing glory to American arms and to understand both my pride and 
the pride of their fellows throughout the American Expeditionary 
Forces in their record. My good wishes accompany your command on 
its return to the United States, and my interest will remain with its 
members in their future careers. 

Sincerely yours, 

(Signed) John J. Pershing. 


Colonels Guggenheim, Robert M. 

Barker, John W. (Promoted from ist Lieut.) 

(Promoted to Brigadier General) Kelly, Michael A. 

Donovan, William J. (Promoted from Captain) 

Lawrence, George J. 

Promoted from Major) McAdie, George 

TT- ^1 1 T-. (Promoted from Captain) 

9'"^; 9^^^f ?• ^ McKenna, James A.* 

Howland Charles R. (Promoted from Captain) 

McCoy, Frank R. Mangan John J 

(Promoted to Brigadier General) (Promoted from Captain) 

Mitchell. Harry D Meaney, Martin H. 

(Promoted from Lieut.-Colonel) (Promoted from Captain) 

Ueut.-Colonels Merle-Smith, Van S. 

Anderson, Alexander E. (Promoted from Captain) 

(Promoted from Captain) Powers, Walter E. 

(Promoted from Captam) 

Dravo, Charles A. Reilley, Thomas T. 

Moynahan, Timothy J. (Promoted from Captain) 

(Promoted from Major) Stacom, William B. 

Reed, Latham R. Kennelly, William 

Majors (Promoted from Captain) 

Bootz, Henry A. Watson, James 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) Zorn, Jay 

Doyle, William T. 

(Promoted from Captain) * Deceased 




Archer, James 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Allen, Richard J. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut.) 
Baker, Chas. D.* 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Becker, Beverly H. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Behrends, Jerome B. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Billings, Forest E. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Burns, Coleman 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Buck, Oscar L. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Cavanaugh, William P. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Cooke, William C. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut.) 
Cassidy, Henry K. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut.) 
Conners, John F. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Connelly, Edmond J. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut.) 
Clifford, John J. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut.) 
Cooper, Jackson S. 
Dudley, Gerry B. 
DeLacour, R. B. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut) 
Elmer, Basil B. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Finn, James G. 
Foley, James L. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Given, William B. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut.) 
Green, John A. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Graham, Walter R. 
Hurley, John P. 
Hudson, William E. 
Houghton, James T. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Grose, Hovi^ard 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut.) 
Josselyn, Ralph R. 
Kinney, Thomas A. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 
Landrigan, Alfred W. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 

Lyttle, John D. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 
Lawrence, Austin L. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 
O'Brien, Joseph F. 

(Promoted from Ist Lieut) 
McKenna, William F. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut) 
McNamara, Francis J. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut) 
McDermott, Thomas B. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut) 
Mangan, James M. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut) 
Martin, Arthur H. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut) 
Marsh, Frank 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 
Smith, Samuel A. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut) 
Seibert, Kenneth C. 
Stout, Louis A. 

(Promoted from 1st Lieut) 
Riggs, Francis P. 
Ryan, Richard J. 
Ogle. Kenneth 

(Promoted from ist Lieut!! 
Prout, John T. 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 
Gillespie, Francis H. 
Walsh, Michael J.* 

(Promoted from ist Lieut) 
Rowley, John F. 

(Promoted from 2nd Lieut) 

First Lieutenants 
Allen, Harold L. 
Arnold, Howard W.* 
Bell, Ernest L. 
Board, Walter 
Benz, George A. 
Byrne, Bernard E. 
Baldwin, William W * 
Boag, Joseph J. 
Burns, William J. 
Burke, John J. 
Brownstone, Michael 
Betty, Harold J. 
Carroll, Joseph V. 
Carson, Allen G. 
Cowett, Max P. 
Collier, James 
Crandall. H. W. 

* Deceased 



Crawford, Henry E. 
Doris, Roscoe 
Damico, Joseph G. 
Dowling, Patrick J.* 
Everett, Eugene F. 
Force, Russell 
Fechheimer, John H, 
Friedla,nder, William M. 
Furbershaw, Arthur W. 
Goodell, Guy F. 
Guignon, Emile S. 
Hanley, James M. 
Howe, Paul D. 
Henry, John T. 
Heller, Abraham I. 
Horak, Frank 
Hutchinson, Warren B. 
Heinel, John P. 
Hurt, Paul A. 
Holmes, Merril J. 
Irving, Lawrence 
Johnson, Clarence E. 
Knowles, Ralph S. 
King, George I. 
Kirkland, John 
Kilcourse, John J. 
Ketcham, Ralph C. 
Kane, Bothwell B * 
Keveny, John 
Korst, Donald F. 
Kelly, Henry E. 
Kirschner^ William J. 
Lawrence, Andrew W. 
Leslie, J. Langdon 
Light, Wesley W. 
Leaper, Robert B. 
Levine, A. A. 
McNamara, Joseph D. 
Mclntyre, James B. 
McCartney, A. R. 
McCormick, Charles A. 
McCormick, Edward J. 
McKeon, Andrew J. 
Martin, Thomas C. P. 
Martin, Reune 
Norman, John * 
O'Donohue, Joseph J. 
Orgle, Samuel Z. 
O'Sullivan, John F. 
Otto, George F. 
Patton, William H. 
Fierce, Charles H. 
Piatt, Sherman T. 
Poore, John G. 
Perry, Donald A. 

Powers, Robert E. 
Robertson, Allen D. 
Stevens, Floyd L. 
Stone, Thomas F. 
Spencer, William M. 
Sims, Anthony J. 
Springer, Franklin H. 
Seidelmann, Joseph H. 
Smith, Francis 
Smith, Herman H.* 
Surber, Paul 
Stokes, Horace W. 
Schwinn, John M. 
Terry, Alvah L. 
Tarr, Marshall A. 
Trotter, L. S. 
Williams, Harry V. 
Williams, Allen R. 
Williams, John J. 
Wheeler, William D. 
Warren, George H. 
Young, Thomas H.* 

Second Lieutenants 
Ames, Oliver * 
Ahern, David H. 
Alexander, John M. 
Arenholz, William J. 
Beach, Clayton W * 
Bocard, Fred J. 
Burns, Zenas T. 
Burns, James S. D.* 
Burns, Edwin J. 
Boone, Philip T. 
Bunnell, A. L. 
Bonner, Robert 
Brocard, Frank 
Brosnan, John J. 
Bracken, Benjamin 
Burke, John H. 
Cunningham, Arthur W. 
Carten, James E. 
Carleton, Howard C. 
Callahan, Andrew J. 
Crane, William D. 
Collier, James 
Crimmins, Clarence 
Crandall, Harold M. 
Carter, Franklin W. 
Daly, Edwin A * 
Daly, Ewing P. 
Devine, Thomas J. 
Davis, Henry W.* 




DeAguerro, Miguel E. 
Ellett, Andrew L* 
Elliott, Don 
Finn, William 
Flynn, Daniel K. 
Field, Eugene B. 
Graham, William H. 
Greff, Lester M. 
Goodwin, Schuyler 
Hutchinson, Roderick 
Hawes, Lincoln 
Hervey, Frank 
Henry, J. F. 
Huelser, Charles A. 
Johnston, Frank 
Johnson, Cortland 
Johnson, Qarence E, 
Jewell, William A * 
Jackson, Thomas J. 
Kotz, George L 
Kelly, William T. 
Koenig, Paul S. 
Katch, Joseph J. 
Laughlin, James C. 
Levenberg, Lawrence F, 
Lacy, Philip S. 
Larkin, John J. 
Lawson, Alexander 
Larney, Leo 
Lenoir, Frank 
Levy, Morris R. 
Lisiezki, Stanley K. 
Lanette, Kenneth 
McKnight, John 
McMullih, James C. 
McNulty, William 
McMullin, Frank 
Metcalfe, George T. 
Metcalfe, Earl K. 
McCarthy, Thomas J. 
Meyer, John L. 
Mixon, Robert 
Morthurst, Aloysius F. 
Mela, Alvin S. 
Monohan, John J. 
Monohan, Humphery J, 
Murphy, Frank M. 
Neary, Patrick 
Newton, Raymond 
Norris, Elton R. 
O'Connor, William L.* 
Orr John P.* 

Parker, Charles 
Peace, Walter 
Philbin, Ewing 
Reynolds, Arthur W. 
Richardson, D. M. 
Rupe, Forest D. 
Rowe, Lester G. 
Shultes, Clarence L. 
Searles, William 
Sasser, Frank M. 
Scheffler, Edward S. 
Swift, Samuel S. 
Sherrell, William J. 
Stott, Gerald R.* 
Slayter, Russell B. 
Samuels, Charles G. 
Sears, Stephen C. 
Smith, McRae 
Smoot, Walter E. 
Shanley, Bernard 
Sharp, James W. 
Stovern, Gotfred 
Sleep, Leroy 
Strang, Albert L. 
Sasnett, Lucien 
Sipma, Edward 
Self, Frank M. 
Sebert, G. A. 
Sasser, F. 
Sense, W. J. 
Sipp, Paul 
Silliman, Harper 
Schert, Gustavious A, 
Temple, Francis C. 
Tucker, Milton H. 
Todd, Fred L. 
Tuttle, Malcolm W. 
Underbill, Charles A. 
Urban, Paul J. 
Vance, Vernon 
Vandiver, Basil A. 
Van Alstine, Frank 
Veach, Columbus H. 
Williams, Henry C. 
Winans, Chester B, 
Weller, Reginald 
Warner, Hunt 
Watkins, George F.* 
Worsley, Thomas H. 
Wallace, Williamson N. 
Wilkerson, Marcus E. 





* Abbreviations : KIA (Killed 
in action or died of wounds) ; 
A.C.S. (sent to Army Candidates' 
school) ; Com. (commissioned). 

Sergeants — Co. A. 

John J. O'Leary, ist Sgt.— KIA 
James J. Hughes, Sgt Major, 83rd 

Joseph S. Higginson 
Martin V. Cook — Com. 
Charles Lanzner — KIA. 
Charles Schmidt 
Daniel O'Connell — Com. 
John F. O'Sullivan — Com. 
Michael J. Walsh 
Stephen L. Purtell 
Timothy J. Monohan, Sgt. Major 
Frank H. Squire 
Thomas J. Sweeney, ist Sgt. 
William G. Moore — Com. 
C. Donald Matthews— A.C.S. 
Bernard J. White — Sgt. Major 
Spencer Rossell — A.C.S. 
Charles A. Underhill — Com. 
John F. Scully 
Patrick Ames— KIA. 
Hugh J. McPadden 
John H. Dennelly 
Clancy VanArsdale 
Lester Hanley — KIA. 
Frank J. Fisher 
William M. Walsh— KIA. 
Patrick J. Doolan— KIA. 
John A. McDonald— KIA. 
Edward J. Mooney 
Clyde G. Evans 
James J. Duff— KIA. 
William F. Ogilvie 
Frederick R. Stenson — KIA 
George V. Armstrong 
Harold J. Henderson 
Michael Morley 
Joseph C. Pettit 
William Mehl 
Albert Kiley, Co. Clk. 
Harry Blaustein 
Edward P. Wylie 

Sergeants, Co. B. 

John O'Neill, ist Sgt— A.C.S.. 

Michael C Horgan 

James Taylor 

James Brogan — KIA. 

Ole J. Olsen 

Harry Ashworth 

John A. Donovan 

Speros Thomas 

John A. Sullivan 

Alexander Whalen 

Francis J. Lynch 

Henry J. Kiernan — KIA. 

William G. Braniff 

Patrick Kelly 

Edward J. Kelly 

Preston D. Travis 

Joseph Gilgar 

James J. Cullinan 

Thomas F. Brady 

William Thornton 

William S. Gilbert 

Vincent P. Mulholland, ist Sgt.— 

James Donnelly — KIA. 
John J. Mahoney— KIA. 
Joseph D. Graham 
James E. Coyne 
Lawrence Steppello 
James Langan 
Matthew J. Brennan 
Martin Naughton 
Frederick Coyne, Co. Clk, 
Herbert P. McClymont 
Alfredo Menicocci 
John A. Donovan 
Frank A. Frederick— A.C.S. 
James Gilhooley 
Edward Kraemer — KIA. 
William F. Mallin, Bn. Sgt.- 

Major, A.C.S. 
Hugh E. Stengel 
John A. Sullivan 
Joseph Gilgar 

Sergeants, Co. C. 
William Hatton, ist Sgt, Sgt- 

Major, H. Q., 42nd Div. 
R. S. Powell, 1st Sgt.— A.C.S. 
Eugene B. Halpin, ist Sgt., U. S. 

A. as instructor 
Thomas P. O'Hagan, ist Sgt. 
John D. Crittenden— A.C.S. 
Thomas Halpin — A.C.S. 
James J. Grace 
Edward J. O'Connell 
James F. Nelson 



James Barry 
Joseph W. Burns 
James T. Burns 
Denis Cahill 
J. H. Casey 

Edward P. Clowe— KIA. 
Frank W. Colyer 
Walter S. Coon 
Nathaniel B. Crittenden 
Frank L. Curtis 
Daniel J. Davern 
John P. DuflFy 
Frank L. Drivdahl 
Daniel S. Garvey — KIA. 
Herman Hillig 
Harry E. H organ— KIA. 
Edward J. Kearin — KIA. 
Peter Keller 
John W. Knight 
John E. McAuliffe 
Eugene A. McNiff 
Hugo E. Noack 
Thomas O'Kelly 
George E. Richter 
Bernard Ryan — KIA. 
Matthew Synott — Com. 
Louis J. Torrey — KIA. 
Arthur C. Totten 
John F. Vermaelen — KIA. 
Anthony Gallagher 
Joseph Hennessey 
Michael Cooney 
Louis C. Dedecker 
Frederick R. Garrison 
Thomas P. McPherson 
Joseph Peisel 
Archilbald F. Reilly 
Michael Ruane 

Sergeants, Co. D. 
Thomas H, Sullivan, ist. Sgt — 

Thomas W. Brown 
Colton C. Bingham, U. S. A, as 

John Cahill 
Martin E. Carroll 
Stephen J. Crotty 
Thomas J. Curtin, ist Sgt. — KIA 
John Curtin, Color Sgt. 
John Daly 

Harold J. Dibblee — Com. 
Edward J. Geaney, ist Sgt. — 

John J. Gribbon — A.C.S. 

Patrick Grogan 

Joseph W. Halper, Co. Clk. 

Patrick J. Heaney 

John F. Ingram — KIA 

Stanley W. Jones 

Thomas F. Keyes 

George H. Krick ' 

Joseph J. Lynch 

Denis McAaliffe 

Patrick J. McDonough 

Edward A. Mclntee 

Martin iVIcMahon 

John McNamara — KIA. 

John P. Mohr 

John F. Moran 

George R. Morton 

Lester J. Moriarty 

Hubert V. Murray, ist Sgt. — 

Denis Murphy 
Denis O'Brien 
Denis O'Connor 
Daniel B. J. O'Connell, Reg. Sgt.- 

Thomas M. O'Malley 
Richard W. O'Neill 
Daniel J. O'Neill 
William J. Maloney — Com. 
Edward B. Smith 
Arthur C. Strang — Com. 
Joseph P. Tracy 
James S. Whitty 
Joseph L. Sheehan, ist Sgt. 
James O'Brien 
Herbert DeWilde 
Dalton Smith 
Edgar T. Farrell 
Michael J. McAuliffe 
Martin J. Hurst 
Robert K. Niddrie 

Sergeants, Co. E. 
William L. Bailey, ist Sgt.—U, 

S. A., as Instructor 
Thomas A. Carney — Com. 
Charles F. Finnerty — Com. 
William Lippincott — Com. 
William T. Kelly — Com. 
Andrew Callahan — Com. 
Frank Johnston, ist. Sgt. — Comr 
William Maloney 
Archibald Skeats 
Douglas McKenzie 
Frank E. Donnelly, ist Sgt. — 




Bernard J. Kelly 

Hugh McKiernan 

John F. Riordan 

John A. Wilde 

William J. Foley 

James Moran 

Daniel Donohue 

Harold J. Carmody 

Michael Lynch — KIA. 

Lester Lenhart — KIA. 

William A. Halligan — Co. Clk. 

Leon Hodges 

John Schluter — A.C.S. 

Alban A. Delaney— A.C.S. 

James Hyland 

Carl Kahn 

Edward P. Scanlon, Reg. Sup. Sgt. 

Edward J. Vahey 

Alexander Smeltzer 

John Burke 

Michael Darcy 

Arthur J. Lefrancois 

James McCready 

Augustus Morgan 

Thomas J. Reidy 

Thomas Gaffney 

Alfred S. Helmer 

George S. Malloy 

Edward J. Rickert 

John J. Horan, Co. Clk. 

Sergeants, Co. F. 
Joseph V. Blake, ist Sgt— A.C.S. 
Timothy J. McCrohan, 1st Sgt. — 

James J. McGuinn 
Philip Gargan 
John J. Keane— Com. 
William F. Hanifin— Com. 
Herbert L. Doyle — Com. 
Joseph A. Wynne 
Michael J. Bowler, Bri. Sgt. 

Major— A.C.S. 
Edward A. Ginna 
Charles B. Echeverria — KIA. 
Joseph H. Trueman — A.C.S. 
Eugene Cunningham — A.C.S. 
Philip T. Boone — Com. 
Raymond A. Long 
William E. Boone 
John P. Mahon— Com. 
Thomas Leddy — A.C.S. 
Thomas J. Erb— KIA. 
Charles E. Denon — KIA. 
Michael Douglas— A.C.S. 

Patrick J. Wynne 
Malcolm F. Joy 
William Boland 
James J. McCormack 
John R. Butler 
Theodore H. Hagen 
Lawrence J. Whalen — KIA. 
Cornelius Behan 
James W. Brennan, ist Sgt. 
James J. Bevan 
Leo J. McLaughlin 
John J. Gill 
Louis D. Edwards 
William Graceley 
Albert E. Curtis 
Maurice Fine 
Harold E. Dahl, Co. Clk. 
Timothy Keane 

Sergeants, Co. G. 
John H. Burke, ist. Sgt.— Cora. 
John Meaney, ist Sgt.— U. S. A. 

as Instructor 
Charles B. Grundy, 1st. Sgt— » 

Frank W. Bull, ist Sgt.— Com. 
Alfred H. Taylor, ist Sgt 
John McNamara, ist Sgt 
Charles J. Meagher, ist Sgt 
Charles Sulzberger — Com. 
Joseph McCourt 
John W. Farrell 
William Farrell 
Patrick Donohue 
Leroy T. Wells— Com. 
William Durk 
James P. Robinson — KIA. 
Denis Downing — KIA. 
Thomas Slevin 
John J. Conroy 
James Murray — Col. Sgt 
James D. Coffey 
Edward McNamara 
Thomas T. Williamson 
Martin Shalley 
Denis O'Connor 
Denis Corcoran 
Thomas W. Ferguson — A.C.S. 
Martin Murphy 
Ralph Holmes 
Michael Hogan 
Denis Roe 

Carl G. Kemp — A.C.S. 
Kenneth B. Morford 
Irving Framan 



Roy L. Bull 

John W. Brogan 

Frank Malloy 

Patrick Regan 

Hugh Lee 

John J. McMahon 

Howard B. Gregory, Sgt-Major, 

42nd Div. 
John Ryan, Co. Clk. 
Franklyn Dorman, Co. Clk. 
Maurice Dwyer 
James J. Elliott 
James Regan 
Patrick Keane 

Sergeants, Co. H, 
Joseph E. Nash, ist Sgt. — Com. 
Bernard Finnerty — KIA. 
Patrick F. Craig — Com. 
Robert V. Frye— Com. 
James J. Hamilton — KIA. 
Joseph Mattiello 
Patrick Neary — Com. 
Daniel J. O'Neill, ist Sgt— KIA. 
Jerome F. O'Neill, ist. Sgt.— A.C.S. 
George G. Ashe — Com. 
Daniel L. Dayton — Com. 
Reginald Mitchell — Com. 
John F. Tully— A.C.S. 
John F. O'Connor, ist. Sgt. 
Frank S. Condit 
James A. Dooley 
Miles V. Dowling 
John P. Furey 
Charles J. Gavin 
Bruno Gunther 
Martin J. Higgins 
James Hogan 
John Lynch 
Andrew Murray 
William J. Murray, Co. Clk. 
James F. O'Brien 
William O'Neill, ist Sgt.— KIA. 
William Smythe 
James Todd 
Patrick Travers 
Michael Treacey 
Dudley M. Winthrop 
Frank A. Mader 
John J. Ryan 
William J. Fleming 
Patrick J. Dwyer 
John J. Walker 
Joseph O'Rourke— KIA. 
Eugene J. Sweeney 

Sergeants, Co, I. 

Henry K. Adikes 

William T. Beyer— Batt. Sgt.- 

Charles A. Connolly— KIA. 
Charles R. Cooper 
Patrick Collins— KIA. 
Martin Durkin 
William G. Dynan ^ 

Otto Fritz 
Patrick Flynn 
Charles J. Ford— KIA. 
Alfred F. Georgi— Co. Clk. 
Charles H. Garrett 
Michael J. Jordan — A.C.S. 
William Harrison — KIA. 
James J. Hennessey — A.C.S. 
Edward P. Joyce— Batt. Sgt- 

Major, A.C.S. 
John F. Joyce — Com. 
William Lyle 
William F. Lyons 
Leo Larney — Com. 
William McLaughlin— KIA. 
Richard McLaughlin 
John C. McDermott 
Hugh McFadden 
Patrick T. McMeniman, ist Sgt— 

U. S. A., as Instructor 
Frank McMorrow, ist Sgt. 
Frank Mulligan 
Harold J. Murphy 
Wilfred Fee 
Joseph F. Neil 
Thomas P. O'Brien 
James Quilty 
William Reutlinger 
Patrick Rogan 
John J. Sheehan 
Edward Shanahan, 1st Sgt. 
Charles B. Stone— KIA 
James Sullivan 
George Strenk 
James Warnock 

Sergeants, Co. K. 

Timothy J. Sullivan, ist Sgt— 

Francis Meade — A.C.S. 
James J. Mullen 
Claude Da Costa — A.C.S. 
John H. Embree— KIA. 
Frank Dotighney — KIA. 
John L. Ross— KIA. 



John Gavaghan — KIA. 

Peter J. Crotty— KIA. 

Bernard J. McEIroy— KIA 

John J. McLoughlin 

William B. Montross 

John J. Gibbons 

James J. Sullivan 

Herbert F. McKenna— A.CS. 

Patrick Boland 

Bernard Leavy 

Joseph M. Farrell — Com. » 

Leo G. Bonnard — A.C.S. 

Wilfred T. Van Yorx— A.C.S. 

Herbert J. Kelly— A.C.S. 

Harold A. Benham 

John T. Vogel 

George F. Meyer 

George C. Sicklick 

Edward K. Rooney 

James F. Kelly 

Patrick J. Ryan 

Max Puttlitz 

Michael Costello, Co. Clk. 

Francis Caraher 

William P. McKessy 

John Naughton 

Cornelius Rooney 

Philip Hellriegel 

Oliver Atkinson 

Robert L. Crawford 

James J. Dalton 

James W. Daly 

Thomas M. Gleason 

Augustus F. Hughes 

Sergeants, Co, L. 
Eugene F. Gannon, ist Sgt — U. 

S. A., as Instructor 
John J. Ahearn 
Joseph Beliveau 
Christian F. Bezold 
Richard Blood 

Thomas F. Collins — Com., KIA. 
Raymond Convey — KIA. 
John J. Donoghue— A.C.S., KIA. 
Frank J. Duffy, Sgt.-Major, 42nd 

Thomas E. Dunn 
Michael Fitzpatrick 
Lewis M. French 
Joseph A. Grace 
Thomas A. Heffernan, 1st Sgt. — 

George S. Kerr— KIA. 
Thomas Kiernan — A.C.S. 

Nicholas A. Landzert — KIA. 

John J. Larkin — Com. 

Patrick McCarthy 

Eugene McCue, ist Sgt. 

Harry McDermott 

Hugh McGriskin 

John B. McHugh 

Arthur McKenny 

Thomas McLoughlin 

William E. Malinka— A.C.S. 

John J. Mulvey 

John E. Mullen 

James J. Murphy 

William J. Murphy 

George V. Murphy 

John J. Murphy 

Daniel O'Brien 

Thomas P. O'Donovan— KIA 

Charles Peacox 

David Redmond— A.C.S. 

Valentine Roesel 

William Sheahan, Col. Sgt— KIA 

Charles Siedler— A.C.S. 

Walter F. Watson 

Fred G. Wittlinger, ist Sgt. 

Bernard Woods 

John South worth. 

Patrick McCarthy 

Leo MuUin 

Sergeants, Co. M. 
John J. Kenny, ist Sgt.— A.C.S 
Joseph E. Jerue — A.C.S. 
Ambrose Sutcliff 
Francis Eustace, ist Sgt. 
Denis McCarthy 
Richard J. McCarthy— A.C.S. 
Peter Coonev — KIA. 
Sydney A. DaCosta— A.C.S. 
David G. Alorrison — Com. 
Charles Pfeiffer — Com. 
Howard D. Emerson, ist Sgt.- 

James McGarvey, ist Sgt. — Con 
Frank J. Rogers — Com. 
William J. Francis — KIA. 
Patrick B. Hayes 
Herman H. VonGlahn — Com. 
Henry S. Fisher — A.C.S. 
James J. Hughes — A.C.S. 
Harry Messemer 
Frank May 
John Barrow 
James M. Major 
Patrick J. Clark 



Joseph A. Moran 
Fernand C. Thomas 
Edward F. Flanagan 
Francis X. McNamara 
John J. McLoughlin 
Thomas Courtney 
John O'Connor 
John B. Manson 
John J. F'eeley 
James F. Shanahan 
Eddie I. Stevens — Co. Clk. 
Denis Donovan 
Daniel Flynn 

Sergeants, Supply Co. 
Joseph F. Flannery, Reg. Supply 

Edward P. Scanlon, Reg. Supply 

John J. Kennedy, Reg. Supply 

Joseph Comiskey, ist Sgt. 
Roland Ferdinando, ist Sgt. 
James W. Henry 
Charles Feick 
James J. Heffernan 
William Nicholson 
James Murphy 
Walter Bishop 
Robert Goss 

Thomas S. Lacey — Com. 
William G. Fagan 
Harry Mallen 
Charles Larson 
James McMahon 
William J. Drennan — A.C.S. 
Robert Stanton — Co. Clk. 
Edward L. Callahan 
Bernard Lowe 
Arthur B. Nulty 

Frank Nelson — Co. Clk. 

Sergeants, Headquarters Co, 
Donald P. Adair 
William J. Arenholz — Com. 
Pendleton Beall— A.C.S. 
Abram Blaustein — Cora. 
Leonard J. Beck 
Robert A. Blackford 
John F. Boyle 
Herbert E. Clarke 
Robert L. Clarke 
Stewart S. Clinton 
Gustav Cosgrove 
Richard J. Cray 

Fred W. Cudmore 

Ronald O. Dietz 

Robert Donnelly 

Francis Driscoll, U. S. A., as In- 

Lemist Esler, U. S. A., as Instruc- 

William Evers — Band 

Alfred H. Fawkner — Com. 

William E. Fernie 

Thomas E. Fitzsimmons 

Lawrence J. Flynn — Band 

Jerome Goldstein 

Leonard P. Grant — Com. 

Constantine J. Harvey 

Gerald L. Harvey 

George D. Heilman 

Diedrich Heins 

Edward J. Hussey — KIA. 

Arthur C. Jaeger 

John V. Kerrigan 

Joyce Kilmer — KIA. 

Russell Klages 

George D. Kramer 

Robert N. Lee 

Charles Leister 

James Lynch — Band 

Thomas E. Lynch 

Thomas J. McCarthy, ist Sgt. — 

Samuel G. McConaughy 

Leonard Monzert — A.C.S. 

Thomas Mullady 

John J. Mullins, Sgt. Bugler 

William P. Murray — Band 

Frank Miller— Band 

Erwin L. Meisel 

William P. Neacy— A.C.S. 

James O'Brien 

Francis A. O'Connell, Col. Sgt. — 

Denis O'Shea, ist Sgt. — Com. 

Medary A. Prentiss — Com. 

Theodore C. Ranscht 

Michael Rendini 

Leslie B. Reynolds 

Kenneth G. Russell — Com. 

John J. Ryan, ist Sgt 

Walter T. Ryan 

William F. Shannon 

William J. Sieger 

James V. Smith 

Ambrose M. Steinert, Reg. Sgt- 

Patrick Stokes — Band 



Albert L. Strang, Batt. Sgt.-Major 

— Com. 
Miles Sweeney — Band 
Thomas J. Taylor 
Walter F. Thompson — Co. Clk. 
Robert Taggart 

Harrison J. Uhl, Col. Sgt. — Com. 
George W. Utermehle 
Emmett S. Watson 
Roy A. West 

Marcus E. Wilkinson — Com. 
Charles F, Willermin 
Frederick T. Young 
Howard R. Young 
He -Try E. Zitzmann — Band Leader 
Edward H. Jeffries — Com. 

Sergeants, Machine-Gun Co. 
A. Aiidrews 
Gerald Beekman 
Harry P. Bruhn— KIA. 
Thomas J. Berkley — Com. 
J. T. Brooks— KIA. 
Anthony J. Daly 
Thomas J. Devine — Com. 
Thomas F. Doherty 
William A. Drake— KIA. 
Victor M. Denis 
Maurice Dunn 
E. O. Ericksson — Com. 
Paul R. Fay 
John H. Flint 
Frank Gardella — KIA. 
J. J. Hagerty — Com. 

Peter Gillespie 

C. F. Hunt 

J. R. Keller 

L. Kerrigan 

Ralph C. Ketchum — Com. 

John Kilgannon 

James E. Ledwith 

Allen J. McBride— Com. 

John J. McBride, ist Sgt. 

Harry J. McKelvey— Co. Clk. 

John T. Malvey 

T. J. Meredith 

K. F. Morey 

John Mulstein 

Maurice M. O'Keefe 

William Patterson 

Sidney F, Ryan 

William A. Sheppard, U. S. A., as 

John J. Spillane 
Joseph McCourt, 1st Sgt. 
Frank Stevens 

Sergeants, San. Det. 
Warren W. Lokker, Sgt. ist Class 
William Helgers, Sgt. ist Class 
Victor L. Eichorn 
Arthur Firman 
William F. Hayes 
Wilham J. Maher 
Daniel McConlogue 
William K. McGrath 
Thomas V, Boland— Co. Qk. 



Since returning home I have read with great interest the unique 
historical study of Mr. Michael J. O'Brien on the part played by the 
Irish in the early history of the Colonics and particularly in the Revolu- 
tionary War, founded on an exhaustive examination of Irish names 
inscribed in army rosters and other records of the period. In order 
to avoid the suspicion of over-playing his hand, Mr. O'Brien had to 
confine himself to names like his own, which undeniably indicate Irish 
birth or descent. He must have passed over many names which are 
common in every group of Irish throughout the world. 

If we take only the names which have become prominent in the re- 
cent endeavors to establish the independence of Ireland — De Valera 
and Marcoviecz do not sound particularly Irish (even the militant 
lady's maiden name of Gore-Booth does not much improve the matter) ; 
and while Kelly, Ryan, Dunn and Duffy are to the manner born, there 
was a time when Walsh, Pearse, and Plunkett were foreign names, 
Norman or Danish ; and Kent, McNeil and Griffiths might very well be 
respectively English, Scotch or Welsh. 

In the Regiment we had some good men of Scottish descent, but we 
had a number who volunteered for the Regiment drawn by Irish race 
feeling, bearing the names of Johnston, Cowie, Wilson, Bailey, Arm- 
strong, Saunders, Campbell, Thompson, Chambers, Gordon, Ross, 
Scott, Watson, Stewart, Christy, Finlay, Crimson, Hamilton, Barr, 
Graham, Gillespie, Black, Walker, Catterson, Robinson, Holmes, Grant, 
Dunbar, Eraser, Kirk, Patterson, Gould, Wylie, Robinson, Roberts, 
Donaldson, Ferguson, McMillan, McDonald, McGregor, McPherson, 
Ogilvie, Craig, Cameron, McAndrews, McLean, McKay, Macintosh, not 
forgetting our Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Anderson. 

We had three or four score Jews in the Regiment that went abroad 
but there was a Coen, a Leavy and a Jacobs who were Irish. 

Other regimental names that do not sound Irish to the ears of the 
uninitiate but are familiar in every Irish group are Clifford, Duane, 
Clark, Freeman, Winters, Phillips, Williams, Cunningham, Curtis, John- 
son, Gough, Harrison, Grace, Jones, Lof tus, Medler, Matthews, Morrison, 
Newman, King, Crawford, Biggar, Bambrick, Ring, Rice, Blythe, Gray, 
Judge, Morgan, Caulfield, Gilbert, Gilgar, Campion, Booth, Humphreys, 
Cook, Hill, Parks, Hunt, Garland, Gill, Warren, Reed, Hurst, Jenkins, 
Rogers, Grimes, Summers, Smith, Green, Brown, White, Martin, 
Mason, Lowe, Roe, Wade, Woods, Goodman, Fleming, French, English, 
Holland, Thornton, Wall, Travis, Travers, Morgan, Fletcher, Clinton, 
Richards, Jennings, Lynn, Taylor, Reynolds, Grundy, Stanley, Turner, 
Edwards, Dean, Meade, Conville, Ward, Clayton, Eustace, 
Lavelle, Clyne, Battle, Nelson, Wynne, Coppinger, Morton, Oakes, 
Fullam, Lynott, Lynar, Lysaght, Long, Fennell, Tuers, Birmingham, 
Hetherington, Temple, Whitty, Granville, Howard, Bealin, Stanley, 
Vaughan, Adams, Nash, Coneys, Mylott, Brickley, Mitchell, Diamond, 
De Witt, Hopkins, Quigg, Igo, Taylor, Ferris, Ledwith, Forrestal, 
Lever, Hoey, Fox, Russell, Sutcliffe, Hillery, Fisher, Kent, Boyce, 
Bevan, Rothwell, Adkins, Courtney, Mannix, Orr, Harris, Farnan» 
Hackett, Hopkins, Gaynor, Gunn, Broe, Bush, Goss, Wilde, Cox, Sea-« 
griff, Marshall, Davis, Bergen, Singleton, Rankin, Webb, Small. Nog 
all of the possessors of these names in the Regiment were bearers of 
the Irish racial tradition, but the great majority of them were. 


Sometimes the English sounding name was imported directly from 
Ireland, and the man's nationality was never in doubt after one heard 
him speak, as in the case of Mansfield, Bugler, Maddock, Elwood, and 
others. Sometimes all doubt was removed by the Christian name, as 
in the cases of Patrick Ames, Patrick Stokes, Patrick Thynne, Patrick 
Porteous, Patrick Carlisle, Patrick Benson, Patrick Travers, Patrick 
Fawcett, Patrick Gorham, Patrick Masterson, or Michael Goodman, 
Michael Douglas, Michael Bowler, Michael Gettings, Denis Richardson, 
Bernard Clinton, Robert Emmett Mitchell, Bernard Granville, Francis 
X. Goodwin, John J. Booth. 

The future historian who writes of the part played by the Irish ele- 
ment in this war will have a good deal of trouble collecting his data, 
partly on account of the tendency to bestow on children what our 
grandparents would call "fancy" names, and partly through the inter- 
marriage of women with Irish names to men whose names indicate a 
different racial descent. Especially when the religion is the same, the 
children are very definitely Irish in race feeling. All of the following 
had the Irish kind of religion, and most of them claim to be of Irish 
descent; George Lawrence, James Archer, Wilton Wharton, Colton 
Bingham, Sherwood Orr, Melvin King, Earl Withrow, Lester Lenhart, 
Archibald Skeats, Dudley Winthrop, Warren Dearborn, Hurlburt Mc- 
Callum, Harold Yockers, Dallas Springer, Joyce Kilmer, Clifford Wilt- 
shire, Pelham Hall, Elmore Becker, Everett Guion, Lester Snyder j 
while others in the same category bore names such as Dayton, Lovett, 
Lappin, Trayer, Shepherd, Harndon, Harnwell, Ashworth, Bradbury, 
Everett, Adikes, Keyes, Boone, Bibby, Beverly, Aspery, Cornell, 
Morthurst, Battersby, Dawson, Chamberlain, Cousens, Hasting, Black- 
burne, Griswold, Bagley, Forman, Myers, Nye, Firman, Weaver, Irons, 
Garrett, Kyle, Forms, Kear, Alnwick, Boomer, Dobbins, Ogden, 
Dresser, Frear, Bennett, Cooper,. Gracely, Schofield, Fredericks, 
Waiters, Voorhis, Chatterton, Kolodgy, Law, Vail, Field, Throop, 
Menrose, Hawk, Waddell, Drake, Flint, Elworth, Maryold, Knott, 
Bagger, Espy, Cuffe, Peel, Stiles, Willett, Leaper, Gauthier and Denair. 

A number of volunteers were drawn to the old Irish Regiment by 
the bonds of a common faith. And in the course of two years spent 
amongst them it was an easier matter while performing my office as 
Chaplain to get a line on their personal beliefs than on their racial 
descent. We had for example Guignon, Bonnard, Pierre, Viens, and 
Pepin; Mendes, Echeverria, Rodriguez and Garcia; Gardella, Brangac- 
cio, Georgi, Lorelli, Guida, Menicocci, Tricarico, Depietro and Sper- 
anza; Romanuk, Ragninny, Hovance, Sypoula, Puttlitz and Ivanowski, 
with plenty of names like Arenholz, Schmidt, Stumpf, Dietrich, 
Weick, Schmedlein, Schluter, Leudesdorf and Kahn. Some with 
names sounding just like these last ones were Irish on the distaff side, 
such as Almendinger, Winestock, Schwartz, Ettinger, Schroppel, Mehl, 
Rohrig, Peisel, Hans, Landzert, Clauberg, Ritz, Steinert, Messmer, 
Zimmerman, Finger, Richter, Herold, Schick, Buechner, Sauer, Beyer, 
Haerting, Meyer, Roesel, Willermin, Miller, Dryer, Hugo, Wilker, 
Fisher, Staber, Augustine, Dierenger, Morschhauser, Ritter, Haspel, 
Becker, and Grauer. 

Two small groups of "Irish" struck my fancy— one with Scandinavian 
names like Drivdahl, Malmquist, and Larsen ; and a few of the Vans; 
Van Pelt, Vanderdonck, Van Wye and Van Benschoten. 

One way of estimating the character of the regiment would be to 
examine the lists of the dead, to find what names preponderate in 


them. In those lists we find seven men named Kelly; five McCarthy; 
our O'Neill, O'Brien, and Brennan; three Baker, Brown, Campbell, 
Cook, Cronin, Daly, Kane> Lynch, McDonald, McKeon, McLoughlin, 
Martin, Murphy, O'Connor, O'Rourke, Scanlan, Smith, Sullivan and 
Wynne ; tzvo Adkins, Allen, Ames, Boyle, Byrnes, Collins, Coneys, 
Connelly, Conway, Curtin, Dolan, Dunnigan, Donovan, Dougherty, 
Farrell, Fitzpatrick, Ford, Gavin, Geary, Gordon, Gray, Gunnell, 
Hamilton, Hart, Higgins, Johnson, Lane, Leonard McMillan, McKay, 
McKenna, McSherry, Mahoney, Minogue, Mitchell, Morrissey, 
Naughton, Peterson, Philips, Quinn, Reilly, Riordon, Robinson, 
Rooney> Ryan, Scott, Slattery, Thomson, Williams and Walsh. 



President, William J. Donovan. 
1st Vice Pres., George J. Lawrence, 
2nd Vice Pres., T. W. Ferguson, 
3rd Vice Pres., John Farrell, 
Secretary, Daniel B. J. O'Connell, 
Treasurer, Timothy J. Moynahan, 
Financial Secretary, John McNamara, 
Historian, Francis P. Duffy, 
Chaplain, James M. Hanley. 


Morgan J. O'Brien, Chairman, 

Daniel M. Brady, Vice Chairman, 

John Whelan, Treasurer, 

Joseph P. Grace, 

Victor J. Dowling, 

John D. Ryan, 

James A. Farrell, 

Thomas E. Murray, 

James A. McKenna, 

George McDonald, 

Major Thomas T. Reilley, 

Nicholas F. Brady, 

Clarence H. Mackay, 
John J. O'Keefe, 
Louis D. Conley, 
Bryan L. Kennelly, 

(former Presiding Justice of the 

appellate division.) 
(President of Brady Brass Co.) 
(former Corporation Counsel) 
(President W. R. Grace & Co.) 
(Supreme Court Justice) 
(Chairman Anaconda Copper Co.)] 
(President U. S. Steel Corp.) 
(ist V.P. New York Edison Co.) 
(Public Accountant) 
(165th Inf.) 
(Chairman Brooklyn Rapid Tr. 

(Pres. Postal Telegraph Co.) 
(H. L. Horton & Co.) 
(former Col. old 69th) 
(Real Estate Operator) 

U. S. A. Inc. 


Mrs. George R. Leslie 


Miss Catherine A. Archer 

Rec. Sec. 

Miss Elizabeth M. Hughes 

Cor. Sec. 

Miss * Louise Reilley 

Fin. Sec. 

Miss Margaret Casey 


Miss Nora A. Thynne 


Mrs. Theresa Hughes 

Mrs. William J. Grady 
Miss May A. O'Neill 
Miss Mary Duffy 
Mrs. V. Merle-Smith 

^40 02 



BQX iil37 .Z82 D8 SMC 

Duffy. Francis Patrick 
Father Duffy's story